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Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 

in  2007  with  funding  from 

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The  Sumerian  and  Akkadian  peoples  were  little  concerned 
with  speculative  ethics.  The  approach  to  the  study  of  the 
moral  ideals  of  a  society  now  merely  historical,  our  knowledge 
of  which  is  based  on  scattered  and  all  too  insufficient  records, 
must  be  a  sociological  one.  Yet  sociological  development  and 
moral  evolution  are  not  identical;  for  a  social  structure  may 
be  built  up  or  torn  down  unwittingly.  While  the  rules  evolved 
by  any  society  are  not  necessarily  ethical,  it  is  essential  to 
study  varieties  of  customs,  since  non-ethical  customs  are  of 
value  in  so  far  as  they  affect  the  standard  of  conduct  of  the 
group  or  individual.  In  the  evolution  of  a  people,  influenced 
as  it  is  by  geography,  economic  conditions,  religious  concep- 
tions, and  other  forces,  it  is  difficult  to  trace  the  moral  ele- 
ments. The  purpose  of  this  dissertation  is  to  select  from 
Sumerian  and  Akkadian  literature  now  accessible  to  us,  such 
illustrations  as  seem  to  indicate  most  clearly  the  moral  ideals 
and  practices  of  the  group.  We  are  not  here  concerned  with  the 
ideals  of  the  individual  as  such,  but  shall  confine  ourselves  rather 
to  customs  which  reveal  some  of  the  principles  which  regulate 
conduct  within  certain  social  units,  as  the  nation,  the  family, 
classes  of  women,  slaves.  A  study  of  the  laws  and  customs 
connected  with  such  groups  may  serve  as  a  basis  for  judging 
the  general  moral  status  of  ancient  Mesopotamia.* 

When  we  consider  the  larger  unit,  the  nation,  or  in  early 
time,  the  city-state,  we  find  that  the  principal  activities  were 
war  and  commerce.    Of  these  the  more  important  for  the  study 

I  It  is  curious  that  efforts  to  study  the  morality  as  such  have  been  so  few. 
Mention  should  be  made  of  the  brief  statements  of  Jastrow  in  Hebrew  and  Baby- 
lonian Tradition,  and  Aspects  of  Religions  Belief  and  Practice  in  Babylonia  and 
Assyria.  We  are  indebted  to  S.  A.  B.  Mercer  for  having  first  attempted  a 
systematic  outline  of  moral  practices,  published  in  JSOR  and  Religious  and 
Moral  Ideas  in  Babylonia  and  Assyria. 

:  r     ^  ,  —     8     — 

of  morality,  and  that  about  which  we  have  the  most  data,  is  war. 
Aside  from  accounts  of  campaigns  which  fill  the  royal  annals, 
we  are  informed  of  military  organization  through  the  letters 
and  contracts.  That  there  existed,  particularly  in  Assyria,  a 
state  of  society  which  was  continually  organized  to  meet  the 
exigencies  of  war  furnished  by  attack  or  by  the  ambition  of 
powerful  monarchs,  we  have  evidence  from  contracts  an  letters. 
Such  groups  as  the  Kisru^  and  sabe"^  were  subject  to  military 
service.  Neither  with  the  details  of  the  organization  ^  nor  with 
military  tactics  as  such,  are  we  here  concerned, '^  it  is  sufficient 
to  note  that  society  was  so  organized  that  the  demands  of  war 
could  be  quickly  met. 

To  the  Babylonians  and  Assyrians,  war  was  a  natural  human 
activity.  If  the  country  were  attacked,  it  became  the  divine 
duty  of  the  king,  acting  as  the  instrument  of  the  gods,  to 
protect  it,  and  punish  the  invader  by  any  means  that  seemed 
effective.  If  a  king  aspired  to  enlarge  his  empire,  he  could, 
provided  he  had  a  sufficient  following  and  military  ability,  march 
through  the  country,  conquering  town  after  town,  making  the 
vanquished  peoples  „submit  to  his  yoke"  and  „bow  down  at  his 
feet".  Perhaps  it  was  because  of  this  conception  of  the  com- 
monplaceness  of  war,  that  the  Sumerians  and  Babylonians 
wrote  little  of  their  conquests;  they  considered  rather  that  the 
building  of  temples  and  palaces,  the  dedication  of  boundary 
stones  and  canals  were  of  a  more  permanent  interest  than  the 
details  of  campaigns.  It  was  left  to  the  Assyrians  to  furnish 
descriptions  of  military  strategy. 

That  the  Sumerians  were  active  in  battle,  is  shown  by  the 
date-lists,  the  year  often  being  named  for  the  chief  event  that 
occurred  in  it.  Frequently  a  number  of  successive  years  recei- 
ved their  date  from  the  same  event  as:  „The  second  year  after 
the  subjection   of  Kismash''^  or  „The  fifth  year  after  he  con- 

1  ADD  II  S  79,  224  f.  King  Ham.  Lett.  Ill  No.  i. 

2  Cf.  p.  82—85. 

3  Cf.  "Das   stehende   Heer  der  Assyrerkonige  und  seine  Organisation",  ZA 
XXIV  97  ff.,  185  ff. 

<  Cf.  "Assyrische  Kriegfuhntng  von  Tiglat-pileser  I  his  an/  Samsi-adad  IIP\ 
Marie  Pancritius,  Dissertation  1904.     Also  BA  III  i66ff. 
5  HLC  Pt.  II  Tablet  ZZ- 

—    9    — 

quered  Isin.'"  The  military  activity  of  the  Sumerians  and 
Babylonians  is  also  indicated  by  the  warlike  epithets  which 
they,  as  well  as  the  Assyrians,  apply  to  themselves,  at  the 
beginning  of  most  of  the  royal  annals. 

In  the  early  period,  disputes  over  boundary  stones  furnished 
one  of  the  chief  causes  of  war.  The  so-called  „Stele  of  the 
Vultures"  of  Eannatum,  and  the  Cone  of  Entemena  are  records 
of  such  conflicts.  Entemena  describes  the  difficulties  Mesilim, 
King  of  Kish,  had  with  U§,  Patesi  of  Umma:* 

Me-siliin  Mesilim, 

lugal-kis-ki'ge  King  of  Kish, 

10.  ka  d.  Ka-di-na-ta  by   the   command   of   Kadi,   the 


KU  gan-bi-ra  at  the  beginning  of  his  territory 

Ki-ba  na-ne-ru  there  he  erected  a  stele. 

Us  Us, 

pa-te-si  patesi 

1 5.  of  Umma, 

nam-enim-ma'dir-dir-su      according  to  evil  intentions 

e-ag  acted. 

na-(ru)-a-bi  That  stele 

ni-pad  he  took  away 

20.  edin  Sir-la-pur-ki-su  into  the  territory  of  Lagash 

ni-du  he  went. 

(d.)  Nin-gir-su  Ningirsu 

ur-sag  d.  En-lil'la-ge  the  hero  of  Enlil, 

ka'si-di-(ni)-ta  according   to  his    (ie.  Ningirsu's) 

righteous  command, 
25.  gis-uh-^i-da  with  Umma 

dam-ha-ra  a  battle 

e-da-ag  he  made  (ie.  Mesilim). 

The  desire  of  Mesopotamian  monarchs  for  territorial  expan- 
sion, naturally  led  them  to  wage  aggressive  warfare.  The  ne- 
cessity of  maintaining  any  army  for  defense,  supplied  them 
with  ready  material  for  the  nucleus  of  powerful  forces,   when 

1  SAK  p.  237  (g).     See   also   date   lists  in  HLC,  SAK,  Ham.  Letters,  Vol. 
Ill  p.  212  f.  etc. 

2  Cone.  Col.  I  f.  8—27.     Trans,  from  Dec.  Pt.  Ill  pi.  XL VII.    In  the  trans- 
lation  of  quotations,  all  previous  interpretations  have  been  compared. 

—      10      — 

the  king  wished  to  invade  a  strongly  equipped  or  distant  coun- 
try. The  royal  annals  of  the  great  Assyrian  kings,  especially 
those  of  Ashumazirpal,  Sargon  II,  Sennacherib,  Esarhaddon  and 
Ashurbanipal  tell  of  numerous  campaigns  into  distant  countries, 
subduing  obscure  tribes  not  only  for  the  sake  of  territorial 
expansion,  but  for  the  tribute  such  alliances  would  add  to  the 
national  treasury,  a  revenue  which  would  make  it  possible  for 
the  king  to  build  temples,  palaces  and  public  works  of  all  kinds 
to  perpetuate  his  memory. 

Whatever  the  cause  of  war,  the  Sumerians  and  Akkadians 
alike  were  almost  unrelenting  in  their  treatment  of  conquered 
towns.  Even  in  the  early  period,  the  policy  was  to  destroy 
all  property,  and  carry  away  anything  of  value  that  was  por- 
table. On  a  plaque  of  Urukagina  we  find  the  lines  :^ 
10.  gis-uh-^i  Umma 

e-ma-zig  he  took 

kur-kur-ri  su-e-ma-tag-tag   and  devastated  the  lands. 
gan  u-gig-ga  The  field  Ugigga, 

gan-ki-ag  the  beloved  field 

15.  d.  Nin-gir-zu-ka-ka  of  Ningirsu, 

^'  Nin-gir-zu'ge  Ningirsu 

gis-uh-ki  of  Umma 

zig-ga-bi  its  glory 

ni-ha-lam  blotted  out. 

Likewise  Sarru-kin,  in  a  bilingual  inscription  writes:* 
uru  uruk  ki  The  city  of  Uruk 

e-hul  he  smote, 

bad-bi  its  walls 

15.  e-ga'(f)  he  destroyed; 

lii-uriik  ki-ga-da     with  the  people  of  Uruk 
gi^  (tukul)  in  battle 

e-da-sig  he  fought. 

The  more  vivid  and  picturesque  language  of  Sargon  I's  chro- 
nicle states  his  ability  to  accomplish  complete  devastation  .-3 
31 ana  ^^^^^  Ka-sal-la  against  Kasala 

I  Ovale  Plaque  Col.  IV  1.  10—19  Trans,  from  Dec.  Pt.  Ill  PI.  L. 
*  Col.  I  1.  12—20   Trans,  from  Poebel  BE  IV  (i);   p.  173;  BE  V  pi.  XX, 
Akkadian  Text. 

3  Chronicle  Obv.  IX  1.  31—34,  CEBK  Vol.  II  p.  33. 

—    II    — 

32.  il-ltku(ku)   -ma   dapda-su-nu  he  went  and  grievously  smote 

im-ha-su  ka-mar-su-nu  is-      them  and  accomplished  their 
ku-nu  defeat. 

33.  um-ma-an-su-nu     rabtta     u-  Their    great    army    he    over- 

sam-ki-tu  threw; 

matu   Ka-sal'la   ana  pi-ri   u  Ka§al-la  to  dust  and  ruins  he 

kar-ne  u-tir-ru  turned,  (and) 

34.  ma-an-za-az  is  sure  u-}ial-lik  he     destroyed     (leaving     not 

enough)  for  birds  to  rest  on. 
In   the   Assyrian   annals,   statements   of  general  devastation 
became  stereotyped.    A  military  formula   seems  to  have  been 
developed.    Repeatedly  we  find  the  expressions:' 

alani-ni-su   ina  isati    as-ru-up    ab-bid  ak-kur 

their  cities  with  fire  I  burned,  I  threw  down,  I  dug  up. 
Tiglath-Pileser  IV  writes:* 

"»•  Pii-ku-da     kima      sa-pa-ri      as-hu-up 
the  Pukuda  as  (with)     a  net    I  threw  down, 
di-ik-ta-su-nu      a-duk        sal-la-su-nu 
with  their  slaughter  I  slaughtered,  their  spoil 

ma-at-tu      as-lu-la^ 
great  spoil  I  plundered. 

Assyrian  atrocities  are  mentioned  in  Biblical  narratives;  II 
Kings  25  9  tells  of  the  burning  of  houses,  and  vs.  13 — 17  of 
the  destroying  and  robbing  of  the  temple  of  Solomon.  Archae- 
ological evidence  of  the  victor  setting  fire  to  a  conquered  city 
is  furnished  in  the  reliefs  on  the  so-called  „Bronze  Gates  of 
Balawat"  of  Shalmanezer,  *  and  the  walls  of  the  Palace  of  Sar- 
gon  II  at  Khorsabad.s 

Many  texts,  even  the  early  ones,  enumerate  the  variety  of 
goods  that  were  plundered.  A  very  early  instance  of  this  is 
found  in  an  account  of  the  destruction  of  Lagash.    The  inscrip- 

X  Tiglath-Pileser  I,  Prisim  inscription  Col.  I  1.  94  till  Col.  II  1.  1.     Trans, 
from  I  R.  pi.  9. 

2  Tiglath-Pileser  IV  K.  3751  1.  13.     Trans,  from  II  R.  67. 

3  Cf.  also  Sennacherib,  Taylor  Cyl.  IV  1.  64—67.     I  R.  40. 

4  F.  Delitzsch   and  Billerbeck,  Die  Palasttore  Salmanassars  II  von  Balawat 
PI.  B  T  &  2,  in  BA  VI,  Heft  I.     King:  Bronze  Gates  of  Balawat  PI.  LVI. 

5  BN,  Tome  I  PI.  61. 

—       12      — 

tion   mentions  the  slaughter   which  took  place  in  the  various 
buildings  of  the  city;  we  find  the  recurring  line:^ 

azag-za   -gin-bi    ba-ta     -kes-kes^ 
"silver  and  bright  lapis  lazuli  they  plundered". 

In  the  Assyrian  Annals,  passages  having  reference  to  plunder 
are  more  frequent.  There  are  seemingly  innumerable  occur- 
rences of  such  statements  as,  „their  spoil,  their  property,  their 
goods,  I  brought  forth."  ^  Many  passages  might  be  quoted 
which  give  a  more  specific  account  of  booty  taken  as:^ 

^  su-si 

1 80 
ruk-ki    iri  pi-  5  nir-ma-ak    siparri^ 

unguentaries  of  bronze,  5  jars  of  copper 

it-ti      ilani-su-nu      hurasi       u    kaspi 
together  with  their    gods,  gold,  and  silver 

du-muk  nam-kur-ri-su-nu      as-sa-a 

the  choice  (articles)  of  their  property,  I  removed: 
sal-la-su-nu  bu-sa-a-su-nu     u-si-za-a 
their  spoil,  their  goods    I  carried  away. 
Asurnazirpal  II  writes: 5 
sal-la-su-nu    busa-su-nu    alpi-su-nu 
their  spoil,   their  goods,  their  oxen, 
kirru  si-ni-su-nu  uti-ra 
their  sheep        I  brought  away. 

Shalmanezer  III  tells  of  war  weapons  as  booty  :^ 
^V«  narkabati-su-mi  bit-hal-la-su-7iu 
chariots,  their  stallions, 

ti-mi-tu     tahazi'SU-nu  e-kim-su-nu 
their  war   implements,  1  took  from  them. 
Sennacherib  writes: 7 

27 hurasi  kaspi 

Gold,     silver, 

1  Heuzey,  Nouvelles  Fouilles  de  Tello,  p.  47  f.  Col.  I  1.  6,  7. 

2  See  for  example  Tiglath-Pileser  I  Prisim  Inscription,  Col.  I  1.  93,  94,  I  R.  9. 

3  Tiglath-Pileser  I  Prisim  Inscription  Col.  II  1.  29 — ZZ-     I  R-  lo- 

4  Br.  7819. 

5  Ashurnazirpal  II  Annals  Col.  II  1.  42.     Trans,  from  I  R.  21. 

6  Shalmanezer  III  Obolisk,  Face  1.  65.     Trans,  from  Lay.  90. 

7  Sennacherib,  Taylor  Cyl.  Col.  I  1.  27 — 33.     Trans,  from  I  R.  37. 

—    13    — 

28.  u-nii-tii  hurasl    kaspi        adnu    a-kar-tu  numma  sum-sit'^ 
utensils  of  gold  (and)  silver,  precious  stones  of  every  kind 

29.  busu    makkuru  la  ni-ba        ka-bit-tu  bilti 
possessions,  goods  without  number,  heavy  tribute, 

zinnisati  libibi  ikallisu 

the  women  in  the  midst  of  his  palace, 

30.  in-  tiri      in-  man-za-az  pa-ni^        m-  nar  f-  fiar 
guardians,  eunuchs,  male  singers,  female  singers 

31.  si-hir-ti  um-ma'a-ni  ma-la        ba-su-u 

all,  troops       as  many   as  there  were, 

32.  mut-ta-bi'lu'tu^      ikallu-us      u-si-za-am-sti 
the  guardians    of  his  palace    I  brought  forth 

33.  sal-la-ti-is      am-nu 

(and)  as  spoil  I  counted  (them). 

Again  :^ 

semiri  as-pi  hurasi sa  rit-ti-su-nu  am-hur 

Rings     of      gold  from  their  fingers     I  took  off 

While  it  is  the  Assyrian  annals  that  are  so  full  of  evidence 
that  plunder  of  this  nature  was  customary,  Babylonian  records 
are  not  entirely  silent.  In  an  early  chronicle  we  find  it  recorded 
of  Hammurapi:5 

Uru  ki  u  Larsa  ^i  ka-at-su  ik-su-ud 

Ur    and  Larsa    his  hand     conquered 
bu-sa-su-nii  a-na     ^«^-  Babili  ki  il-ka-a 

their  possessions  to  Babylon    he  took. 

Apparently  the  Assyrian  conqueror  took  the  crops  of  the 
enemy  for  the  use  of  his  own  army,  destroying  any  agricultural 
produce  which  could  not  be  used  or  carried  away.  Tiglath- 
pileser  IV  writes:^ 

^>«  kiri    i?^  m^i-suk-ka-ni^  sa  di-ih  duA-su 
the  groves  of  palms  (?)  which  rest  on  his  wall 

1  numma  sum-su  =  "anything  whatever",   cf.  Br.  11966  and  OBW   53223. 

2  manzaz  pani  See  Br.  6865  and  MA  562*  for  translation  cf.  p.  66  f. 

3  Cf.  MA  62 1  ^ 

4  Sennacherib,  Taylor  Cyl.  Col.  VI  1.  3  Trans,  from  I  R.  42. 

5  CEBK  Vol.  II  p.  17  Obv.  1.  10,  II. 

6  Tiglathpileser  IV  K.  3751  1.  24,  Trans,  from  II  R.  67. 

7  MA  I  567^. 

—     14    — 

a-kis-ma        isti-in  ul    e-zib        m  girintmari-su 

I  destroyed,  and  not  one  did  I  leave.    His  date-palms 

sa      pi-rih  mati  a-duk-ma 

which  was  the  growth  of  the  country,  I  destroyed. 

Among  the  sculptures  of  the  Bronze  Gates  of  Balawat  there 
appears  to  be  a  representation  of  the  victor  cutting  down  the 
trees  of  the  conquered  territory.'  Sometimes  images  of  the 
enemies  gods  were  taken  away  as  plunder.* 

„He  shattered  his  forces,  his  camp  and  his  tutelary  gods  he 
took  from  him." 

The  treatment  of  the  person  of  the  enemy  was  ruthless;  and 
here  again  it  is  the  Assyrians  who  furnish  us  with  the  more 
graphic  details.  It  was  not  sufficient  merely  to  accept  the  ene- 
mies' admission  of  defeat;  he  must  be  tortured  and  made  an 
example  to  other  peoples  who  were  likely  to  refuse  to  submit. 
Phrases  expressing  general  slaughter  present  the  picture  of 
masses  of  corpses  filling  the  battlefield.  Various  Assyrian  kings 
write  in  vivid  language  i^ 

,       ,   .  ^  .  ,  the    bodies    of  their    army 

na-ou'td-ti  ummanatt-su-nu  . ,  ,.       ...  ,       , 

,  V    . .  , .  AT      .  r      /    widespreadrngr  hke  water  I 

ra-ap'sa-tz  kt-ma  me  lu-at-ou-uk  .       ^   ° 

poured  out. 

Sal-mat  ku-ra-di-su-me  si-ra  With  corpses  of  their  warri- 

ra-ap'SU  lu-u-me-el-li  ors  the  wide  plain  I  filled. 

'^   a-bi-ik-ta-su-nu  as-ku-un      dame-su-nu 

their  defeat  I  accomplished  (with)  their  blood 

hur-ri      u      mus-pa-li   sa      sadi-i        lu-me-ki-ir 
the  ravines  and  passes  of  the  mountains  I  sprinkled. 

5  sal-ma- at     ku-ra-di-su-nu 
the  bodies  of  their  strong  men 

1  BA  VI  (I),  PI.  B  I  &  2.   King,  Bronze  gates  of  Balawat  PI.  XLVIII,  XLIX. 

2  Adad-nirari  I  Synchronous  history  1.  27.  Winckler:  Untersuchungen  zur 
altorientalischen  Geschichte.  p.  148  KB  I  p.  196.  Cf.  Layard:  Nineveh, 
2nd  Series  pi.  30  for  archaeological  evidence. 

3  Shalmanezer  I  Col.  Ill  1.  21 — 24.  Trans,  from  Mess.  Keil.  hist.  Heft  I 
p.  22. 

4  Tukulti-Ninib  I  Annals  Obv.  1.  24,  25  Trans,  from  King:  Records  of  the 
Reign  of  Tukulti-Ninib  I. 

5  Tiglathpileser  I  Octagonal  Prism  Col.  I  1.  77— 80.  Trans,  from  I  R.  9. 
Cf.  also  Col.  II  1.  12—24. 

—    15    — 

i-na     mit-hu-us     tu-sa-ri    ki-via    ra-hi-si 
in        heavy      battle        like     an  inundation 
lii-ki-mir  damt-su-nu         hur-ri 

I  overthrew.     Their  blood  in  the  valleys 
u      ba-ma-a-ti      sa    sadi-i  lu-sar-di 

and  high  places  of  the  mountain  I  caused  to  flow. 
*   alu     dan-nu-ti-su-nii    ak-su-ud 
their  strongholds  I  captured; 

sdbi  muk'tab-li'Su-nu  i-na    ki-rib      hur-sa-ni 
their  fighting  men      in  the  midst  of  the  wooded- mountains 

pa-gar        mtik-tab-li-su-nu      a-na      gu-ra-na-te 

the  bodies  of  their  fighting  men  into  piles 

i-na      gi-sal-lat^      sadi-i  lu-ki-ri-in 

on  the  peaks        of  the  mountains  I  heaped  up. 

sal-mat       kii-ra-a-di-su-nu    nam    Na-a-me 

the  bodies  of  their  soldiers   the  river  Name 

a-na    Diglat    lu-u-si-si^ 

carried  into  the  Tigris. 

Other  picturesque  expressions  of  a  frequently  recurring  type 

wm-ma-na-ti-su-nu    ki-ma    zi-ir-ki^  u-ni-ki-is 

their  troops  like      a  swath  of  grain  I  hewed  down. 

^ umman  d.  Ha-at-ti-i 

The  army      of  the  Hittites 

u  Ah-la-me-i        ra-i-su-su 

and  Arameans,  his  allies 

ki-ma  zi-ir-ki  lu-u-ti-bi-ih 

like      sheep    I  slaughtered. 

A  favorite  picture  presented  in  the  annals  of  Ashurnazirpal  II 
is  expressed  in  the  following  extract  :7 

1  Tiglathpileser  I  Octagonal  Prism  Col.  II  1.  12—24.    Trans,  from  I  R.  10. 

2  HWB  202^. 

3  Cf.  also  Tiglathpileser  I  Octagonal  Prism  III  82,  IV  93,  VI  5,  7,  etc. 

4  Tiglathpileser  I  Octagonal  Prism  Col.  Ill  1.  98,  99.    Trans,  from  I  R.  11. 

5  MA  297  ^ 

6  Shalmanezar  I  Col.  II  1.   38—40.     Trans,  from  Mess.   Keil.   hist.  Heft  I 
p.  21. 

7  Ashurnazirpal   II    Col.  I  1.   53.     Trans,  from    I  R.  18.     Cf.  also  Col.  II 
1-  17.  55^  56,  114  etc. 

—     i6    — 

dajm-su-nu  kima      na-pa-a-si        sadu-ii  hi 

(with)  their  blood  like  red-dyed  wool  the  mountain 
as-ru-up  si'ta-ti-su-nu  hur-ru 

I  indeed  dyed.     The  rest  of  them  the  cave 
na-ad'ba-ku      sa        sadi-i         akul 
and  precipice  of  the  mountain  devoured. 
Shalmanezer  III  writes:'     45.  mun-dah-hi-si-m-nu 

their  fighting  men 

46.  ina      kakki      u-sant-kit  kuna  d.  Adad  eli-su-nu 
with  weapons  I  brought  low,  like      Adad  I  caused  the 
ri-hi'il'ta          u-sa-az-nin      ina        hi-ri-si 
inundating  rain  to  rain  over  them,  into  the  valleys 
at'bu-uk-su-nu      sal-mat 

I  poured  them.    With  bodies 

47.  ku-ra-di-su-nu     siru  rap-su        u-mal-li 
of  their  fighting  men  the  broad  plain  I  filled, 
dami-sa-nu      kima      na-pa-si  sadu      as-ru-up 
with  their  blood  like  red-dyed  wool    the  mountain  I  dyed. 

Sargon  II  in  his  eighth  campaign  writes:^ 

134.  di-ik-ta-su  ma-  *  -at-tu      a-du-tik-ma        salmat 
his  army    to  death  I  slew  down,        and  the  bodies 
pl-  hu-ra-di-su    kima  se  bukliC?)  as-di-ma      sa-pa-ni 

of  his  warriors  like  grain  (?)  I  spread  out,  and  the  ravines 
sadi-e  u-mal-li 

of  the  mountains  I  filled. 

135.  damt-su-nu  hur-ri  na-ad-ba-ki      nar-es      u-sar-di-ma^ 
theirblood  in  the  abyss  and  precipices  like  a  river  I  caused  to  run. 
Warfare   was  a  subject  often  treated  by  Assyrian  sculptors 

as  well  as  by  scribes.  And  they  were  no  less  graphic  in  their 
presentation  than  were  the  writers  of  the  royal  annals.  In 
connection  with  the  passages  quoted  above,  examples  of  these 
sculptures  may  be  noted.  A  frequent  motif  is  that  of  a  corpse 
lying  beneath  a  horse  which  is  drawing  a  chariot.  The  inten- 
tion was  apparently  to  give  the  idea  of  a  battlefield  so  full  of 

1  Shalmanezer  III  Monolith   Col.  I  1.  45*^— 47.     Trans,  from  III  R.  7.     Cf. 
also  II  1.  77,  98,  99. 

2  Sargon   II    Col.  II,    1.    134,  5.      Trans,    from    Thureau-Dangin,    Huiti^me 
Campagne  de  Sargon,  PI.  VII. 

3  Cf.  also.     Sennacherib,  Taylor  Inscription  Col.  V  1.  80—85. 

—     i;    — 

corpses  that  chariots  must  drive  over  them.^  Fragment  D  of 
the  Stele  of  the  Vultures  shows  corpses  lying  beneath  the 
phalanx;  fragments  B  and  C  furnish  an  excellent  illustration  of 
the  custom  of  heaping  up  corpses.^ 

From  the  time  of  Tiglathpileser  I  on, -J  there  are  found  fre- 
quent passages  which  record  methods  of  mutilating  the  bodies 
of  the  enemy,  alive  and  dead.  Ashurnazirpal  II,  whose  annals 
are  in  many  ways  the  most  vivid  in  the  reporting  of  military 
tactics,  writes: 

89.* rabuti  am-mar 

the  nobles     as  many  as 

90.  ib-bal-ki-tu-ni        a-ku-su      maski-su-nu 
revolted  I  flayed;     (with)  their  skins 
a-si-tii          u-hul'lip    an-nu-ti  ina      lib-bi 

I  covered  a  pillar.       Some       in   the  midst 
i  (or  dysi'te      u-ma-gig      a-nu-ti      ina      Hi 
of  a  mound    I  walled  up,     others        above 

91.  i-si-ti  ina  i?^  zi-ki-bi  u-za-kip  an-na-ti 
the  pillar  on  a  stake  I  lifted  up,  others 
bat-tu-bat'ti    sa  a-si-ti    ina    zi-ki-bi 

around  the  mound    on    stakes 

u-rak'kas      ma--du-ti      ina      pi-rik 

I  bound.         Many  at  the  entrance 


of  my  country 

92.  a-ku-su  maski-su-nu      dura-ni      u-hal-lip 
I  flayed,  with  their  skins  I  covered  the  walk. 

In  recording  other  mutilation  of  the  body  we  find  such  a 
passage  as: 5 

1.  117.  an-nu-te    kap-pi-su-nu    rit-ti-su-nu 
of  some    their  hands,    their  arms 

1  Cf.  DeClercq,  Tome  II  pi.  ZZ  and  BN  pi.  56,  58,  59  bis,  gg,  92,  99,  100,  etc. 

2  Fragments    B.    C,    &    D,    Heuzey-Thureau-Dangin,    StMe    des    Vautours. 
Planche  II,  and  in  D^c.  pi.  3,  3  bis. 

3  Cf.  Tiglathpileser  I  Col.  I,  1.  81,  Col.  VI  1.  5  etc. 

4  Ashurnazirpal,  Annals   Col.  I  1.  89 — 92.     Trans,  from  JR.  19.     Cf.  also 
Col.  Ill  1.  108  and  Ashurbanipal,  Rassam  Cyl.  Col.  II  1.  3,  4. 

5  Ashurnazirpal,  Annals  Col.  I  1.  117 — 118.     Trans,  from  I  R.  19.    Cf.  also 
Sennacherib  Taylor  Cyl.  Col.  V  85— VI  4. 


—     i8     — 

u-bat  (or  bd)-tik     an-nii-ti    ap-pi-su-nu 
I  cut  off:  of  others     their  noses, 

uzna-sii-nu      ritti-su-nu      u-bat-tik      sa 
their  ears,     their  fingers  I  cut  off,     the  eyes  oi 
sabi  maduti    ina-su-nu      u-ni-bil 
many  soldiers  I  put  out, 

1 1 8.  istini-it    i-si-tu    sa       baltuti    istini-it    sa 
one         pillar        of  the  living,     one     of 
kakkadi    ar-sip    ina  ^>«  gubni  ina 

heads        I  built     on     stakes  planted   in 
li-me-it  mahazi-su-mi         kakkadi-su-nu 

the  neighborhood  of  their  city  I  hung  up  their  heads 
ina     lib-bi    u^-il 
in  the  midst. 
Among  the  reliefs  found  by  Botta  at  Nineveh  is  one  showing 
a  picture  of  three  men;   below  is  the  representation  of  a  be- 
sieged city.    Each  man  is  supplied  with  an  axe,  and  is  engaged 
in  chopping  a  corpse,  the  two  arms  already  cut  off  lying  near- 
by.'    But    the    chief  satisfaction    of   the    Assyrian    conqueror 
seems  to  have   been  in  wholesale  decapitation,  in  piling  these 
heads    in   pyramids,   in    causing   them  to  be  worn  about  the 
necks   of  horses   or   of  captives,  or  in  putting  them  in  con- 
spicuous places  to  terrify  yet  unconquered  peoples.    Ashurna- 
zirpal  writes: 

71.^ kakkadi-su-nu    u-ni-kis ina 

their  heads       I  cut  off on 

*>«  guh-(ni)^  sa   tarbasu^  ikalli-su        i--il^ 

vines        of    the  courtyard  of  his  palace  I  hung  (them). 
72.  20  sabi    baltuti    ina     kat  usabbi-ta 

20  live  soldiers  with  the  hand  I  captured, 

ina      dziri      ekalli-(su)        u-ma-gi-gi 
in  the  wall  of  his  palace     I  walled  (them). 
Of  a  similar  nature  is  the  following  extract  from  Esarhaddon's 
Cylinder  A:^ 

1  BN  pi.  140  cf.  also  Layard:  Nineveh^  2nd  Series  PI.  47. 

2  Ashuraazirpal  Annals  Col.  II  1.  71,  72.     Trans,  from  I  R.  21. 

3  or  gu-ub.  4  OBW  95  3.  5  or  u-'-il. 

6  Esarhaddon  Cyl.   A.    Col.   I  1.  47—51.     Trans,  from  I  R.  45.     Cf.  also 
Ashurbanipal,  Rassam  Cyl.  col.  VII  1.  40. 

—     19    — 

as-su     da-na-an      Assur    beli-ya 

in  order  to  show  the  people 

nisi      Kul-lmn-mi-im-ma 

the  power  of  Assur  my  lord 

kakkadi  m.  Sa-a?t-dii'{u)-ar'ri 

the  heads  of  Sanduarri 

11  m.  Ab-di-mi-il-ku-iit-ti 

and  Abdimulkuti 

ina     ki-sa-di  m.  rabitti-su-un     a-lul-ma 

upon  the  necks     of  their  great  men  I  hung. 
And  in  the  Rassam  cylinder  of  Ashurbanipal  we  find:* 

69 pi-i-su-nu '     as-lu-uk 

their  tongues,    I  cut  out 
70.  si-it-ti    nisi    bal-iii-sun        ina    sedi^     lamassi^ 

the  rest  of  the  people  alive  among  bull  colossi  and  bull  gods 
yi.  sa  Sin-ahi-irba     abu  abt     bani-ya     ina    libbi    is-pu-nu 

which  Sennacherib  my  grandfather  in  the  midst  threw  down. 

72.  e-nin-na     a-na-ku       ina       ki-is-pi-su 
again        I  threw    those    people 

73.  ?iisi    sa-a-tu-nu     ina    libbi    as-pu-un 
in         the  midst     of  the  pit; 

74.  stri-su-nu    nu-uk-ku-su-u-ti 
their  flesh  (which  was)  cut  off, 

75.  U'Sa-kil        kalbi    sahi    zi-i-bi  (issuri) 

I  caused  to  be  eaten  by  dogs,  swine,  vultures, 
']6.  nasri    issuri    sami-e        7iuni        ap-si-e 

eagles,  birds  of  heaven,  (and)  fish  of  the  deep. 
Assyrian  art  abounds  in  illustrations  of  this  decapitating 
custom.  Among  the  sculptures  of  the  palace  of  Sennacherib 
there  are  representations  of  soldiers  carrying  heads  in  their 
hands,  5  and  of  soldiers  piling  up  heads.  ^  The  Bronze  Gates 
of  Balawat?  offer  an  interesting  variation;  here  we  find  a  series 

1  Ashurbanipal,  Rassam  Cyl.  Col.  IV  1.  69 — 76.     Trans,  from  V  R.  IV. 

2  variant  lisdni.  3  See  Br.  485  and  MA  1013^ 

4  See  Br.  486  and  MA  489*. 

5  Paterson:  Assyrian  Sculptures,  pi.  9,  51. 

6  Paterson:    Assyrian    Sculptures,    pi.  17,    18,    43,    52,    piling   heads    under 
palm  tree. 

7  Billerbeck  and  Delitzsch  BA  VI  (i)  PI.  Ill  H  lower  row  4.    Cf.  also  King 
Bronze  Gates  of  Balawat  pi.  XLIV. 


—      20      — 

of  heads  on  a  pole,  one  placed  above  the  other.  A  relief  from 
the  palace  of  Ashurbanipal  which  is  of  value  as  a  picture  of 
the  private  life  of  royalty,  has  an  element  of  interest  here.  This 
relief*  shows  the  king  and  queen  feasting  together  in  their 
garden,  surrounded  by  attendants  and  musicians.  Attached  to 
a  palm  tree  hangs  a  human  head,  which  Ashurbanipal  appears 
to  be  regarding  with  satisfaction,  while  the  queen  has  her  back 
turned  toward  the  war  trophy.  In  the  De  Clercq  collection^ 
is  an  illustration  of  the  custom  of  attaching  a  trophy  head 
around  the  neck  of  a  horse.  Representations  of  headless  bodies, 
sometimes  floating  about  in  a  river,  3  sometimes  lying  in  the 
battlefield  beneath  the  chariots,*  are  frequent  among  the  reliefs 
found  at  Nineveh. 

It  is  probable  that  the  policy  of  burning  the  conquered 
existed,  for  although  phrases  such  as  Shalmanezer  I  uses  of 
himself:  5  ka-am  za-a-a-ri^  "who  burns  up  the  enemy,"  are  to 
be  considered  merely  phrases  of  oriental  color,  there  are  many 
passages  which  undoubtedly  refer  to  actual  burning.  Ashur- 
nazirpal  II  writes:^ 

3  limu  sal-la-su-nu  ina 

3,000  of  their  captives  with 

isati    asrup    ki-i    li-tu-ti    isti-in 

fire    I  burned:  as  hostage  one 

ina        lib'bi-su-nu    baltu    id    i-zib 

among  them  alive  I  did  not  leave. 

7  .  .  .  .  ba-tuli-su-nu  (ba-tu-la-ti-su-nu) 
their  youths  (and  maidens) 

a-na    maklu-ti    asrup. 

as  a  holocaust  I  burned. 

We  find  many  examples  of  the  burial  of  the  dead ;  but  it  is 
not  clear  whether  the  conqueror  buried  the  dead  of  the  enemy, 
or  merely   his   own  dead.    The  burial  of  the  dead  body  was 

1  Handcock,  Mesopotamian  Archaeology  PI.  XXI  GreBmaDn,  Texte  und 
Bilder  p.  139. 

2  DeClercq  Vol.  II  PI.  XXX  8. 

3  BN  PI.  64.  4  BN  PI.  65-67,  76. 

5  Shalmanezer  I,  Obv.  Col.  I  1.  11.     Mess.  Keil.  hist.  Heft  I  p.  18. 

6  Ashumazirpal,  Annals  Col.  I  1.  108.     Trans,  from  I  R.  19. 

7  Ashumazirpal  Col.  II  1.  43^,  I  R.  21.  Cf.  also  Shalmanezer  III  Monolith 
Col.  II.  17. 

—      21      — 

considered  very  essential  to  future  peace;  the  body  should  not 
be  exposed  to  light.  The  importance  of  this  is  illustrated  by 
the  hope  expressed  in  the  curse  customarily  found  at  the  end 
of  an  inscription,  —  the  hope  that  the  destroyer  of  the  tablet 
may  be  left  unburied.  King  in  his  History  of  Sunier  and 
Akkad'^  points  out  that  the  apparent  references  to  burial  in 
the  Stele  of  the  Vultures,  need  not  necessarily  refer  to  actual 
burial,  but  may  merely  be  Eannatum*s  method  of  saying  that 
he  killed  many.  Jastrow '  interprets  the  mutilation  of  corpses  as 
"merely  another  phase  of  this  curse  upon  the  dead".  The 
leaving  of  the  body  for  beasts  and  birds  of  prey  to  devour, 
became  therefore  the  worst  fate  that  one  could  inflict  on  his 

Entemena  writes: 3 

ne-ni  erim-Go-an  6o  strong  men  of  his  soldiery, 

20.  gu  id  Lum-ma-sir-ta-ka      on  the  side  of  the  river  Lummasirta 

e-ku'kid  he  left. 

nam-hi-kal-ba  The  bones  of 

gir-pad-du-bi  that  soldiery 

edin-da  e-da-kid-kid  on  the  plain  he  left. 

sahar-dul'tag'bi^  Those  (who  were)  heaped  up  in 

the  dust 

ki-ya  in  five  places 

ni-mi-dub  he  buried. 

But  Thureau-Dangin  5  expresses  the  opinion  that  in  the  in- 
scriptions of  Eannatum  and  Entemena,  the  bodies  referred  to  as 
buried  are  not  those  of  the  enemy;  while  Radau  here  and  in 
similar  passages^  interprets  the  text  to  mean  that  the  dead  of 
the  enemy  were  buried.  The  meaning  of  sahar-dtd-tag  is  uncer- 
tain; but  evidently  the  series  of  signs  meant  „those  who  have 
fallen  in  the  dust'*,  and  may  therefore,  in  connection  with  the 

1  P.  138  f.,  p.  149. 

2  Jaslrow:  Aspects  of  Religious  Beliefs  in  Bab.  &  Ass.  p.  360. 

3  Entemena,  Historic  Cone.  Col.  Ill  1.  19 — 27.  Trans,  from  D6c.  Pt.  Ill 
pi.  XLVII.  Cf.  Stele  of  VullttreSy  Frag.  A.  D^c.  pi.  3  —  vultnres  carrying 
off  heads. 

4  Cf.  EBH  p.  99  note  30. 

5  Heuzey — Thureau-Dangin,  Stele  des  Vautours  p.  49,  note  5. 

6  Eannatum,  Brick,  Col.  IV,  D6c.  pi.  31 ;  EBH  94.  Galet  A  Col.  Ill  1.  13  f., 
EBH  85,  86. 

—      22      — 

verb  which  follows,  ni-mi-dub,  be  interpreted  as  meaning  dead  bod- 
ies. The  use  of  bi  becomes,  therefore,  of  importance  in  this  con- 
nection. Its  most  common  use  in  relation  to  a  noun  is  pronom- 
inal, representing  the  third  singular;  the  personal  use  is  more 
common  than  the  neuter.  ^  If  the  bi  is  translated  "his",  it  could 
refer  to  either  the  enemy  or  the  victor.  Heuzey  makes  the 
statement'  that  it  must  be  remembered  that  the  people  of  the 
same  race  when  fighting  one  another  have  respect  for  the 
enemy  dead.  But  Galet  A  of  Eannatum  Col.  Ill  describes  a 
victory  over  the  Elamites.  Centuries  later  Ashurbanipal  writes 3 
of  refusing  burial  to  a  dead  enemy.  While  the  actual  gramma- 
tical uses  prove  nothing  on  either  side;  it  is  more  in  accor- 
dance with  what  we  know  of  Sumerian  and  Akkadian  war 
ethics  to  conclude  that  such  passages  relating  to  burial  refer 
to  the  victor's  burial  of  his  own  dead. 

Another  frequently  employed  method  of  torture  and  means 
of  terrorizing  was  that  of  impaling  conquered  peoples  on  stakes. 
Ashurnazirpal  often  writes  :'^ 

ina    zi-ki-bi    ina    pu-ut  ali-su-mi 

on  stakes       at  the  boundaries  of  their  cities 


I  impaled  (them). 
Not  only  ordinary  soldiers,  but  also  the  kings  were  treated  in 
this  manner.  5 

15.  Nabu-u-sab-si    apal    si-la- a-ni    di-ik-ta-su 
Nabusabsi,        son  of  Silani,      his  warriors 
ina    i-ta-at    ^^^  Sa-ar-rab-a-ni    ali-su 

at  the  side  of    Sarrabani,      his  city, 


I  killed, 

16.  u      sa-a-su     mah-ri-it        abul        ali-su 
and  in  front  of  the  great  gate  of  his  city 

1  Delitzsch,  Sumerische  Grammatik  40. 

2  Heuzey — Thureau-Dangin,  Stele  des  Vautours  p.   Ii. 

3  Rassam  Cyl.  Col.  VII  1.  45. 

4  Ashurnazirpal    Col.    Ill    1.  84.     Trans,    from    I  R.    25.     Cf.  also   Col.  Ill 
1.  84,  108,  112.     Also  Shalmanezer  III  Black  Obolisk  Face  D,  1.  154. 

5  Tiglathpilezer  IV.     K.  3751  1.  1$,   16.     Trans,  from  II  R.  pi.  ^t. 

—     23     — 

ana     'V«  za-ki-pi    u-si-li-su-ma 

on         a  stake     I  lifted  him  up,  and 

u-md'gil-la     niat-su 

I  subdued  his  land. 
Examples  of  this  custom  also,  may  be  found  among  the  reliefs 
from  Nineveh  published  by  Botta.  ^  This  shows  a  row  of  men 
hung  on  stakes  beneath  a  besieged  city.  An  example  of  the 
effectiveness  of  Assyrian  methods  of  terrorizing  may  be  seen 
by  the  record  in  II  Chron.  28  21  that  the  kings  of  Judah  even 
gave  parts  of  the  house  of  Yahweh  to  try  to  pacify  the 
approaching  Assyrian  armies. 

Prisoners  were  variously  treated.    Sarrugi  writes  of  the  custom 
of  leading  the  captive  in  chains:* 

(lugal'Za-gi-zi)  (Lugalzagizi) 

sar  king 

uruk  ki  of  Uruk 

in-kas-x  he  fought 

su-du-a  and  captured  him  by  hand, 

in  si'gar-ne-ru  and  in  fetters 

a-na  kd-^en4u  through  the  gate  of  Enlil 

u-ru-us  he  led  him. 

Ashurnazirpal  speaks  of  walling  them  up  in  his  palace:^ 
20  sabi  baltuti  ina  kat 

20  soldiers     alive     by    hand 
risabbi-ta      ina       duri        ekalli-(su)  u-nia-gi-^a 

I  captured,  in     the  wall     of  his  palace  I  walled  in. 

Another  treatment  is  shown  from  the  following  extract  from 


3.  ina        di-hi  abulli       sa         sit     sa     Ni7ia 

in    the  entrance  of  the  eastern  gates  of  Nineveh 
it'ti         a-si       kalbi     u      saht 

with  wild  animals,  dogs,  and  swine 

u-si-sib-su-nu-ti  ka-me-is 

I  caused  them  to  sit  bound. 

1  BN    pi.    55.     Cf.    also    relief  from  time  of  Tiglathpileser  IV,    Handcock, 
Mesopotamian  Archaeology,  PL  XVII. 

2  Sarrugi  BE  IV  p.  174  and  V  no.  34  Sumerian  text. 

3  Ashurnazirpal  Col.  II  1.  72.  Trans,  from  I  R  21. 

4  Esarhaddon:  Cyl.  A  Col.  II  1.  3—5.  Trans,  from  I  R  45. 

—      24     — 

Ashurbanipal  writes:' 

VIII  28.  mI-U  kalbi  as-kun-su-ma 

The  chain    of  a  dog,  I  placed  upon  him 
29.  u-sa-an-sir-su        ^>  si-ga-ru^ 

and  caused  him  to  be  kept  in  a  cage. 
IX  21.  ina        kabal    tam-ha-ri    bal-pi-tis-m-nu 

In  the  midst    of  battle,     alive 

u-sa-bit  kati 

my  hand   captured  him; 
22.  kati        u     sipi    bi-ri-tu     parzilli     ad-di-su-ftti-fi 

hands  and  feet  I  placed  in  fetters  of  bronze. 
Biblical  accounts  corroborate  the  Assyrian  testimony  that  pris- 
oners were  chained.  ^  Again  the  reliefs  from  Nineveh  furnish 
us  with  evidence;  captives  are  seen  with  hands  and  feet  shack- 
led, marching  in  procession. -^  We  also  find  examples  of  the 
captive  being  led  away  by  means  of  a  hook  attached  to  the  lip.s 
When  a  king  entered  and  subdued  an  enemy  country,  he 
put  the  people  "under  his  yoke."  Those  who  were  not  killed, 
or  tortured  in  the  ways  described  above,  were  either  left  in 
their  own  land  which  was  annexed,  or  transported  to  the  capital 
city  as  slaves  or  hostages.  This  policy  existed  from  early  times. 
Possibly  there  is  evidence  of  it  in  the  Stele  of  the  Vultures,^ 
but  the  text  is  too  broken  to  admit  a  certain  interpretation. 
Shalmanezer  I  writes: 7 

25.  sal-la-sii      bu-ul-su      e-ma-am-su 
his  booty,   his  cattle,  his  family 

26.  u         busu'Su      a-na        ali-ya         As-sur     lu-ub-la 
and  his  property     I    carried  away  to  my  city  Assur. 

Tiglathpileser  I  writes:^ 
28.  assati'Su  aplt-su 

his  wife,  his  children, 

1  Rassam  Cyl.  Col.  VIII  1.  28—29  Col.  IX  1.  21,  22.  Trans,  from  V  R  8 
and  9.    Egy.  Camp.  Col.  I  1.  130,  131,  V  R  i. 

2  MA  loiob  3  Cf.  II  K.    174  or  II  Chron.  ZZ^"^ 

4  BN  pi.  81,  82,  118,  ligbis,  120  Cf.  King:  Bronze  Gates  of  Balawat  pi. 
XXII,  XXIII,  XLV.  5  BN  pi.  83.    sew  A,  Fig.  140  c.  6  Col.  VIII. 

7  Shalmanezer  I.  Rev.  Col.  Ill  1.  25,  26.  Trans,  from  Mess.  Keil.  hist. 
Heft  I  p.  22. 

8  Tiglathpileser  I.  Octagonal  prism  Col.  II  1.  28—33.  Trans,  from  I  R  10. 
Cf.  also  Tiglathpileser  I  Col.  V  1.  17  and  Ashurbanipal  2nd  Egy.  Camp.  Col. 
II  1.  39—43  Rassam  Cyl. 

—     25     — 

29-  nab-ni-it    lib-bi-su  il-la-su         3  sii-si 

off-spring  of  his  heart,  his  troops,  180 

30.  nik-ki  iri      5  nir-ma-ak  siparri 
bronze  ointment  jars,  5  metal  jars, 

31.  it-ti  ilani-su-nu  hurasi  u  kaspi 
together  with  their  gods  gold  and  silver, 

32.  du-muk    nam-kur-ri-su-nu    as-sa-a 
their      choice  treasure      I  removed, 

33.  sal-lu-su-nu  bu-sa-a-su-nu  u-si-sa-a 

their  spoil,  their  possessions,  I  carried  away. 
Ashurbanipal :  ^ 

24.  sa-a-sti  bal'tu-uS'SU  it-ti  f-  A-di-ya-a 
he  himself      alive,  with     Adiya 

25.  assat  m.   U-ai'ti-''    sar    'wa/.  A-ri-bi 
wife     of  Uaiti,        King  of  Arabia, 

26.  is-ba-tu-nim-ma      u-bil-u-ni       a-di 
they  captured,     and  brought  before 


The  Assyrian  policy  of  deportation  greatly  influenced  the 
national  and  religious  development  of  the  Hebrew  people;  of 
the  Assyrian  military  practices  this  is  most  frequently  men- 
tioned not  only  in  the  historical,  but  in  the  prophetic  literature. 
The  book  of  II  Kings  abounds  in  references  to  this  custom;* 
chap.  2413 — 17  records  Nebuchadrezzar's  deportation,  chap.  25  5 — 7 
the  binding  of  a  king  and  slaying  of  his  sons  before  his  own 
eyes,  and  chap.  25  18—21  relates  the  deporting  and  killing  of 
important  men. 

Along  with  these  evidences  of  cruelty,  instances  of  which 
could  be  multiplied  almost  indefinitely,  are  found  here  and  there 
traces  of  what  might  at  first  be  considered  clemency  on  the 
part  of  the  victor.  The  boastful  manner  in  which  these  more 
merciful  acts  are  related,  seems  to  indicate  not  touches  of  real 
humanitarianism,  but  only  a  part  of  military  strategy.  By  so 
doing  they  gained  the  submission  of  their  victims  and  acquired 
for  themselves  a  feeling  of  magnanimity.    Ashurnazirpal  often 

1  Ashurbanipal.    Rassam    Cyl.  Col.  VIII  1.  24,  25.,  V  R  8. 

2  II  K.  1529  Cf.  with  I  Chron.  56-26;  n  K.  176,  18"  etc. 

—      26      — 

has  in  his  annals  the  phrase,  *'I  showed  him  mercy."  ^  In  the 
account  of  Sargon  IFs  Eighth  Campaign  we  find  the  passage:* 
1.  58.  su-ii  a-di  ^t'    ra-ba-ni  ^-  sa-kin  te-im 

he,     together  with  his     chiefs,  administrators  of 

inat-su         ii'sal-lu-ni-ma    i-na    pa-ni-ya 

his  land,     prayed,  and    before      me 

eli        ir-bi  rit-ti-su-nu       ip-tas-si-lu 

with  their  four        paws         they  besought 

ki-ina      kal-bi 

(me)  like  dogs. 
1.  59.  ri-e-ma  si-ar-su-nu-ti-ma 

I  had     pity  on  them,     and 

ut'nin-ni'su-7iu        al-ki        at-inn-su-mi 

their  prayers    I  received,   their  words 

sa      te-7iin-ti      as-mi-ma 

of   supplication  I  heard,  and 

ak-bi'Su-nu  a-hu-lap  ^ 

I  said  to  them,       „ahulap". 
Occasionally  there  are  traces  of  discrimination  in  the  otherwise 
wholesale  slaughter. 

4.  maran  mahazi      i-pis  an-m  u  hab-la-ti 

the  inhabitants  of  the  city  who  had  committed  sin  and  evil 

5.  a-na  sal-la-ti  am-nu  si-it-hi-ti-su-nu 
I  counted  as  spoil.    The  rest  of  them 

6.  la  ba-bil  hi-ti-ti  71    kid-hil-ti    sa 
(who)  had  not  committed  sin  and     wrong     who 

had  not 

7.  la  ib'SU-u  uS'Sur-su-uTi  ak-bi 
made  rebellion,  I  announced  amnesty  to  them. 

War  was  considered  not  only  a  proper  occupation  for  man- 
kind; it  was  sanctioned,  even  commanded  by  the  gods.  To  engage 

1  for  example,  Col.  Ill  1.  76. 

2  Sargon   II    8  th   Campaign    Col.   I  1.     58.      Trans,   from   Thureau-Dangin, 
Huitteme  Campagne  de  Sargon  pi.  III.     Cf.  also  1.  155. 

3  ahulap  =  word   of  deliverance.    HWB  43^  gives   as   its   meaning  in  such 
passages,  "Peace  to  you". 

4  Taylor  Cyl.  Col.  Ill  4—7  Trans,  from  I  R  39.    Cf.  also  Esarhaddon  Prism. 
B.  Col.  Ill  1.  II  und  12. 

—      27       - 

in  war  became  a  divine  duty;  and  in  consequence,  man  could  look 
to  his  gods  to  furnish  him  with  strength  to  subdue  the  enemy. 

In  the  Stele  of  the  Vultures  are  found  expressions  which 
indicate  this  belief  that  the  gods  commanded  war.^ 

Assyrian  kings  write:* 

43.  i-7ia      ti-mi-su         ina  i-mu-ki       si-ra-ti 
in      those  days  through  the  supreme  power 

44.  sa  ^'  A'Stir  beli-ya  i-na      an-ni       ki-e-?ti 
of     Assur  my  lord,  through  the  everlasting  grace 

45.  sa  d-  Santas       ku-ra-di        i-na       tuhil-ti 
of    Shamash  the  warrior,  through  the  help 

46.  sa      Hani        rabiiti 
of  the  great     gods. 

49.  a-na  matati      sarra-ni     ni-su-ti 
to     the  lands  of  distant     kings, 

50.  sa        a-ah    tamdi    e-li-ni-ti 

on  the  shores  of  the  upper  sea, 
$1.  sa      ka-na-sa     la  i-du-u 

who    did  not   know  submission, 
52.  d.  A-sur        bel       U'ma--ra-in-ma  al-lik 
Assur,  my  lord,  sent  me  and  I  went. 

hia"^  ki-bit  Assur     bel    rabu    beli-ya 

By    the  command  of  Assur,  great  lord,  my  lord 

it'ti'Su-nu  am-tah-hi-is 

I  fought      with  them. 
The  gods  sanctioned  not  only  war,  but  all  its  accompanying 
cruelties.    Ashurbanipal,  having  explained  how  he  threw  some 
captives  into  a  pit  to  be  eaten  by  dogs,  vultures,  bears,  etc. 4, 
goes  on  to  say:5 

td'tu      ip-si-e-ti      an-na-a-ti  i-te-ip-pu-sa 

by      these  deeds     (which)     were  done 

7i-ni-ih-hu  libbi-(bi)  Hani  rabiiti    beli-ya 

I  quieted  the  hearts  of  the  great  gods,  my  lords. 

1  For  example,  Heuzey-Thureau  Dangin,  StUe  des  Vantours  Col.  VI  Face  D.  1.  7. 

2  Tiglathpileser  I  Col.  IV  1.  43 — 46,  49—52.  Trans,  from  I  R  pi.  12.  Cf.  also 
Col.  I  70. 

3  Shalmanezar  III  Black  Obolisk  Face  D  1.  63.    Trans,  from  Lay.  pi.  90. 

4  Ashurbanipal-Rassam  Cyl.,  Col.  IV  1    66 — 75. 

5  Ashurbanipal,  Rassam  Cyl.  Col.  IV  1.  76,  77.  Trans,  from  V  R  pi.  4-  Cf. 
also  Col.  VIII  1.  27,  Col.  IX  1.  704—108. 

—      28      — 

If  successful,  the  conqueror  felt  that  he  had  been  aided  by 
the  gods.  Sargon  II  accords  to  the  mighty  gods  his  power 
to  give  mercy  also:' 

as-su      da-na-ni         su-tu-ri  sa  d-  A-sur 

by  means     of  the     glorious  power  which  Assur 
d-  Marduk     is-ru-ku-ni. 
and  Marduk    gave  me. 
A   reason   given  for  the  building  of  temples  was  that  one 
might  assure  success  in  war.     Sargon  I  speaks  of  restoring  a 
temple   sa-kar  nakiri-i-su-  "to  overcome   his  enemies".^     The 
help  of  the  gods  was  invoked  by  prayer.    Sennacherib  writes: 3 
1.  50.  a-na-ku  a-na  d.  Assur  d.  Sin    d.    Samas   d.   Bel 
I  to        Assur,      Sin,     Shamash,      Bel, 

d.  Nabo  d.  Nergal 
Nabo,       Nergal 

51.  —  Hani  ti-ik-li-ya 

gods  of  my  confidence 

52.  a-na      ka-sa-di  m.  nakri  dan-ni  am-hur 

at    the  borders  of  my  powerful  enemy 
to  overcome  them  and 

53.  su-pi-e-a         ur-ru-his  is-mu-u 
my  prayers    quickly     heard, 

they  came 

54.  ri-su-ti 

to  my  help. 

as-si       katt-ya       u-sal-li 
I  lifted  my  hands,  I  prayed 
«^  Assur  u  il^  Istar    assur-i-tu 
to  Assur  and  Ishtar  of  Assyria. 

1  Sargon  II  Thureau-Dangin,   Huitieme   Campagne   Col.  I  1.  60,  pi.  III.     Cf. 
also  Tiglathpileser  I  Col.  I  1.  44—45;  Sennacherib,  Taylor  Cyl.  Col.  IV  1.  43. 

2  Sargon  I  YBT  Vol.  I  Col.  I  1.  17  No.  38,  pi.  XXm,  p.  51. 

3  Sennacherib,  Taylor  Cyl.  Col.  V  1.  50—54.  Trans,  from  I  R  pi.  41.  Cf.  also 
Shalmanezer  I  Col.  I  1.  27  and  Sargon  I  YBT  Vol.  I  Col.  II  1.  13—15  P-  53- 

4  Ashurbanipal.    Rassam  Cyl.  Col.  I  1.  65.    Trans,  from  V  R  pi.  I.    Cf.  also 
Col.  II  1.  115— 117. 

—     29     — 

In  return  for  this  help,  the  plunder  gained  was  dedicated  to 
the  god:^ 

ud  d.  (En-lil'la)  When  Enlil 
ma-iia-ni-hun-a  had  looked  favorably  upon  him, 
Kis  ki       "  then  Kish 
mti-hul  he  cast  down; 
En-ne-  uguti  Enne-ugun, 
lugal  Kis  ki  King  of  Kish, 
mu-dur  he  cast  down 
lugal  erint  gis-uh  ki  -ka-ge          king  of  the  hordes  of  Umma 
uru-na  ga-hid  his  city  full  of  malignity 
bil  he  burned. 

mu-ne-gi  he  brought 

alana-bi  his  statue, 

azag-zagin-bi  his  shining  silver, 

^•r  dig-ga-bi  the  utensils,  his  spoil, 

d.  En-lil'la  to  Enlil 

En-lil  ki-i^  of  Nippur 

a-mu-na-sub  he  presented. 

Captives  were  also  brought  before  the  gods;  Naram-Sin  writes:^ 

is-tum  Then 

kas-ligir  kas-ligir  he  overcame 

su-nu-ti  those 

isarru  (-ar-ru)  armies 

u  and 

sar-ri'Su-nu  j  their  three  kings 

{•ik-mi-ma  he  bound,  and 

mah-H-is  before 

d  En-lil  Enlil 

u-sa-ri'ib  he  brought  (them). 

But  if  the  enemy  made  war,  he  sinned  against  the  gods.3 

Hi  (gis'uhyki  ge 

the  people  of  (Umma) 

1  Enne-ugun.     Quoted   from  restoration  &  translation   of  Hilprecht  in  OBI 
pt.  II  Nos.  103,  104,  102,  110,  105.    Trans,  p.  264  Note  2. 

2  Naram-Sin.    YBT  Vol.  I,  No.  lo,  pi.  V.,  1.  9—18.     Cf.  also  Gudea  B.  i. 
64  or  En-sakus-anna,  Poebel  BE  IV  p.  151. 

3  Destruction  of  Lagash   Col.  VII  1.  10— Col.  VIII  1.  2   Nouvelles  Fouilles 
de  Tello,  p.  48. 

—     30     - 

sh'-la-(pHr-^^)  ba-hula-ta  nain-tag  (?) 
Lagash  devastated,       sin        (?) 

d-  Nin-gir-zu'da      e-da-ak-ka-an 
against  Ningirsu  (they)  committed. 

The  military  policies  as  shown  in  Sumerian  and  Akkadian 
literature,  indicate  the  unquestioned  righteousness  of  war.  No- 
where do  we  find  statements  which  suggest  that  the  moral  right 
was  at  all  doubted;  a  king  did  not  consider  whether  he  had 
a  right  to  make  war  on  another  king,  ^  but  the  question  of 
whether  an  enemy  king  had  a  right  to  make  war  in  return, 
was  a  different  matter,  it  was  a  sin  against  the  gods.  This 
exaltation  of  war  naturally  led  to  the  conception  of  a  warrior 
as  a  type  of  ideal  man.  To  find  this  calculated  inhumanity 
exercised  by  the  Babylonians  and  Assyrians  who  were  govern- 
ed by  legal  codes  which  reflect  a  well  developed  moral  sense, 
is  not  without  parallel.  It  was  natural  that  their  ideals  of 
justice  should  have  been  developed  in  their  relationships  with 
their  own  people  first.  Of  real  attempts  at  international  justice 
we  find  no  sure  trace;  even  in  the  period  of  the  latest  Baby- 
lonian kings,  the  international  policy  was  one  of  diplomacy 
rather  than  justice. 

These  many  military  expeditions  throughout  Mesopotamian 
history  naturally  opened  the  way  for  commercial  intercourse. 
At  an  early  time,  when  the  ruler  of  one  city-state  exercised  a 
suzerainty  over  a  neighboring  city,  as  for  example  Mesilim  of 
Kish  over  Lagash,'  trade  which  could  no  longer  be  called 
strictly  domestic,  grew  up.  The  policy  of  the  transference  of 
large  populations  for  political  reasons,  as  under  Shar-gani-sharri 
and  Manishtusu,  encouraged  official  and  commercial  relations. 
The  kings  of  Kish  early  entered  Elam,  and  made  it  a  place 
for  commercial  development;  many  of  the  monuments  from 
Dungi's  time  record  transactions  and  give  lists  of  consignments. 
Naram  Sin  brought  diorite  from  Magan,  and  Gudea,  from  Me- 
lukha  and  Gubi.  Even  by  the  time  of  the  First  Dynasty,  trade 
routes  were  opened  up  the  Euphrates  to  Syria,  and  the  pottery 
trade  established  with  Carchemish.3    Of  special  interest  are  the 

1  Cf.  JAOS  XXXVn  169  f.  &  Vol    38,  p.  209  ff. 

2  Cf.  RA  IV  109. 

3  Cf.  King  Hist.  Bab.  127  f.  182. 

—    31    — 

laws  of  the  code  which  have  to  do  with  shipping,  ^  even  though 
at  this  period  they  probably  had  reference  only  to  commerce 
up  and  down  the  Tigris  and  Euphrates  and  small  tributaries. 
By  these  laws  a  man  who  rented  a  boat  was  protected  against 
mishap  to  the  property,  *  and  provision  was  made  in  case  two 
boats  collided.^  In  connection  with  these  laws  may  be  men- 
tioned a  type  of  document  which  has  been  classified  as  a  bill 
of  lading  4  recording  the  amount  of  grain  sent  "by  boat"  by 
the  agency  of  a  certain  man.  These  probably  aided  the  mer- 
chant in  checking  up  cargo  entrusted  to  agents.  The  builder 
of  a  boat,  and  the  boatman  received  fixed  wages,  s  Several 
of  the  letters  of  Hammurapi  record,  or  give  orders  concerning, 
a  shipment  of  goods.  ^ 

For  the  history  of  foreign  commercial  relations  we  are  de- 
pendent largely  upon  the  royal  annals,  which,  though  they  give  us 
little  direct  information  of  actual  products  exchanged  by  trade, 
but  rather  record  products  taken  as  booty,  nevertheless  show 
us  what  territory  was  opened  up.  The  Amarna  letters  offer 
us,  for  a  late  period,  material  which  shows  the  extent  of  com- 
mercial intercourse;  but  here  again,  we  are  without  any  specific 
information  which  would  contribute  materially  to  the  discussion 
of  morality.  It  is  not  of  value  here  to  attempt  to  outline  the 
commercial  history  of  the  Mesopotamians.  We  may  only  con- 
clude that  they  doubtless  exercised  a  definite  moral  code  in 
foreign  trade,  as  they  did  in  domestic.  Whether  that  code  was 
as  high  as  that  used  in  domestic  affairs  cannot  with  certainty  be 
<as.  determined.  History  shows  that  national  ethics  are  usually 
lower  than  those  of  the  individuals  of  a  nation.  It  should  also 
be  remarked  that  not  all  documents  which  appear  to  represent 
a  record  of  a  consignment  of  goods  received,  need  necessarily 
be  such;  among  a  people  of  so  great  military  activity,  docu- 
ments of  this  nature  may  record  material  taken  as  plunder, 
even  though  the  record  appears  on  a  separate  document  rather 
than  in  a  royal  annal. 

I  §  234—240. 

*  S  236 — 238.    Cf.  also  similar  law  in  YBT.  Vol.  I,  p.  20.    Law  Three. 
3  S  240.  4  HLC  II  p.  9.  5  234,  239. 

6  King    Ham.   Letters,    No.  8,  36,  75,  87  etc.     Cf.    also    BE  (A)  XVII  (i) 
p.  107;  J.  P.  Morgan  I  No.  97;  RA  X  p.  i;  YBT  Vol.  II  No.  36,  139. 

—     32     — 

Our  principal  sources  of  the  social  relationships  of  the  ancient 
Mesopotamians  are:  fragments  of  legal  codes,  the  Code  of 
Hammurapi,  and  thousands  of  "contract  tablets".''  The  Hammu- 
rapi  Code  presupposes  a  long  period  of  legal  control;  the  re- 
forms of  Urukagina  and  the  so-called  Sumerian  Family  Laws 
doubtless  contain  the  elements  of  laws  which  later  appear  in 
this  more  systematic  statement  of  legal  customs  which  was 
codified  during  the  First  Dynasty.  It  is  also  to  be  assumed 
that  most  of  the  laws  stated  in  the  Code  of  Hammurapi  had 
been  in  force  for  some  time.  But  to  attempt  to  discuss  the 
moral  practices  of  the  Sumerians  on  the  basis  of  this  assump- 
tion, as  has  been  done,^  is  precarious.  We  are  not  as  yet 
sufficiently  sure  of  the  earliest  history  of  the  Tigris-Euphrates 
Valley  to  determine  unqestionably  the  priority  of  either  the 
Sumerian  or  Semitic  peoples  in  this  region,  nor  can  we  be 
certain  how  soon  the  two  peoples  became  so  intermingled  that 
a  common  legal  code  might  serve.  3  Until  ^uch  time  as  our 
knowledge  is  more  complete,  it  would  seem  a  more  accurate 
method  to  confine  observations  upon  Sumerian  morality,  to 
Sumerian  documents,  even  at  the  expense  of  incompleteness  in 
our  picture  of  Sumerian  moral  practices.  While  we  cannot  as 
yet  trace  the  development  of  many  specific  laws,  we  recog- 
nize that  the  code  of  Hammurapi  is  undoubtedly  a  compilation 
which  may  be  analyzed  in  general  along  the  lines  of  the  solution 
presented  by  Jastrow.*  But  we  may  be  at  least  certain  that 
by  the  First  Dynasty,  and  for  some  time  before,  custom  had 
developed  into  law  that  was  a  definite  force  in  social  control. 

Cuneiform  literature  is  particularly  rich  in  documents  which 
inform  us  of  the  laws  and  customs  regulating  domestic  business 
transactions.  Thousands  of  tablets  which  contain  merely  a 
statement   of  the   delivery  of  goods,  the  completion  of  some 

1  This  dissertation  was  completed  before  the  Assyrian  Law  Code  found  by 
German  explorers  at  Kaleh-Shergat  was  published  by  Otto  Schroeder  in  Vol.  35 
of  the  WissenschaftUche  Veroffentlichung  der  Deuischen  Orient-Gesellschaft  in  1 920. 
Jastrow's  translation  in  JAOS  XLI  pp.  i-59  appeared  while  this  dissertation  was 
in  the  press. 

2  See  article  by  Mercer  in  JSOR  1  47  f.  For  further  treatment  by  same 
author  see,  Religious  and  Moral  Ideas  in  Babylonia  and  Assyria,  S.  A.  B.  Mercer, 
Milwaukee,  19 19. 

3  Schorr,  Revue  Semitique  XX  p.  378  f.  maintains  Semitic  character  of  Code. 
Cf.  Koschaker,  PSBA  XXXV  230  f.  4  JAOS  XXXVI  i  f. 

—    33    — 

mission,  or  an  inventory  of  stock  on  hand,  furnish  us  with  no 
material  which  may  be  said  to  have  direct  bearing  on  the 
subject  of  business  ethics,  save  as  the  multiplicity  of  such 
documents  testifies  to  the  solidarity  of  legal  control.  By  the 
First  Dynasty  at  least,  we  have  documentary  evidence  that 
Mesopotamian  society  was  well  organized  for  the  transaction 
of  business,  and  that  there  were  definite  laws  regulating  the 
drawing  up  of  private  contracts.  For  the  industrial  activities 
and  business  transactions  of  the  period  prior  to  the  First  Dy- 
nasty, our  material  is  scattered  and  often  unsatisfactory.  But 
we  are  in  possession  of  sufficient  data  to  assure  us  that  even 
in  the  Sumerian  period  there  was  a  definite  standard  of  bus- 
iness ethics. 

Before  examining  the  business  documents  for  the  study  of 
types  of  transaction,  it  may  be  well  to  sketch  briefly  the  judicial 
organization.  In  the  event  of  a  dispute,  the  case  was  brought 
before  a  judge;  decision  was  made  and  recorded.  Analysis  of 
early  documents  has  already  shown*  that  while  in  the  early 
period  judicial  power  was  invested  in  the  priest,  there  were 
also  civil  judges,  royal  functionaries,  or  local  magistrates.  But 
in  this  period  the  patesi  could  be  appealed  to  above  the  civil 
judge  and  could  change  the  civil  decision.*  There  was  a  trans- 
ition from  the  prevalence  of  the  sacerdotal  judge  to  the  civil, 
so  that  by  the  time  of  Hammurapi  the  civil  judges  predomi- 
nated, and  a  civil  tribunal  had  developed.  3  The  exercise  of 
jurisdiction  by  civil  judges  may  have  been  due  to  the  fact 
that  there  was  invested  in  the  person  of  the  king  both  sacred 
and  civil  authority;  he  could  render  justice  in  the  palace  as 
well  as  in  the  temple.  Temple  judges,  however,  continued  to 
function;  civil  judges  could  pronounce  the  judgment,  but  when 
oath  before  the  gods  must  be  taken,  temple  judges  must  act* 
The  Code  provides  a  penalty  for  the  judge  who,  after  rendering 
a  decision  and  causing  it  to  be  sealed,  changed  his  judgments 
According  to  Cuq,^  in  some  types  of  decision,  a  time  interval 
might  occur  between  the  decision  of  the  civil  judge,  and  the 
final  oaths  before  the  sacerdotal  judge,  giving  the  contending 

1  RA  VII  65  f.    Cuq,  "Essai  sur  rorganization  judiciaire  de  la  Chald^e". 

2  RA  Vni  31.  3  RA  VII  68.  4  op.  cit.  78. 
S  S  5.                 6  RA  VII  8i. 


—     34     - 

parties  time  to  come  to  terms  independently  before  the  decision 
was  finally  ratified.  During  the  Neo  -  Babylonian  period  the 
priest  of  the  village  was  commissioned  by  the  judges  to  summon 
the  defendant;  he  was  sometimes  given  the  task  of  collecting 
evidence  for  the  judges,'  and  in  certain  cases  was  given  right 
to  execute  judgment.  Other  judiciary  officials  were  the  gover- 
nor, the  mayor  of  the  city,  the  assembly  of  leading  men,  the 
judges  of  the  district,  and  the  judges  of  Babylon.  Occasion- 
ally the  governor  or  mayor  rendered  a  decision;  the  latter 
also  presided  over  the  assembly  of  leading  men,  an  organi- 
zation which  can  be  traced  back  only  to  the  First  Dynasty.* 
This  assembly  formed  a  civil  jury  and  was  under  the  control 
of  the  king.  The  judges  of  Babylon  formed  a  court  of  higher 
appeal  to  which  cases  tried  in  other  cities  could  turn,  and  pro- 
bably the  court  of  any  of  the  large  cities  served  as  a  supreme 
court  to  the  outlying  districts.^  Judges  had  assistants,  as  the 
MASKJM,*  who  appear  in  the  judicial  acts  of  the  Second  Dy- 
nasty of  Ur.  The  ridu  daiani  was  analogous  to  a  police  force 
at  the  disposal  of  the  judges;  the  mar-pisan  dub-ba-a  was  the 
clerk  of  the  tribunal  with  some  judiciary  power,5  and  it  was 
probably  part  of  his  function  to  keep  records  of  all  decisions 
for  the  archives  of  the  tribunal.^ 

In  all  periods  of  the  history,  the  temple  was  the  great  center 
of  commercial  life,  even  though  by  the  First  Dynasty  the 
priests  had  been  divested  of  their  judiciary  power.  The  dues 
and  gifts  made  to  the  temple  rendered  it  the  chief  banking 
concern  of  the  community.  It  owned  large  tracts  of  land  and 
other  property,  none  of  which  could  be  rented  or  sold.  These 
lands  were  usually  in  charge  of  temple  officials  and  worked 
by  temple  slaves;  a  large  part  of  our  documents  are  accounts 
of  goods  received  as  gifts,  regular  tax,  or  proceeds  from  temple 
property.  7  Temple  lands  were  free  from  royal  tax,  for  such 
lands  were  often  the  gift  of  the  king,  and  in  no  way  the  prop- 
erty of  the  state.  The  temple  was  supervised  by  certain 
families,  the  office  being  hereditary;  certain  persons  had  the 
right  to   receive   temple   offerings   for  stated  periods,   a  right 

1  For  ex.  of  legal  note  used  in  court,  see  AJSL  XXXI  79. 

2  RA  VII  87.  3  Cf.  Ham.  Letters  III  p.  136:  BE  (A)  VI  (2)  No.  10. 
4  Cf.  Babylonica  III  p.  88,  too,  Passim.  5  RA  VII  98. 

6  RA  VIII  17.  7  Cf.  BE  (A)  VIII  (1)  No.  102,  136,  158  etc. 

-    35     — 

which  could  be  sold/  transferred,^  or  rented.3  The  study  of 
the  importance  of  the  temple  as  a  commercial  center  during 
the  First  Dynasty  made  by  Price  "*  emphasizes  the  function  of 
the  temple  as  a  banking  center,  though  whether  loans  are 
made  in  behalf  of  the  temple  as  such,  or  by  temple  officials 
privately,  it  is  often  impossible  to  distinguish. 

In  the  legalizing  of  certain  types  of  contract,  especially  mar- 
riage, adoption,  and  manumission  of  slaves,  the  oath  was  im- 
portant. The  purpose  of  the  oath  was  to  prevent  false  witness* 
or  the  future  breaking  of  contract  by  either  party.  Such  an 
oath  was  originally  not  a  mere  formula,  but  of  actual  value 
as  a  deterrent  among  a  people  whose  religion  was  accom- 
panied by  a  strong  belief  in  and  practice  of  magic.  These 
oaths  were  sometimes  sworn  in  the  name  of  the  king,  more 
often  in  the  name  of  the  gods,  and  as  time  went  on  specific 
gods  became  associated  with  certain  types  of  contract. 5  The 
affixing  of  the  seal  or  nailmark  to  a  contract  was  not  necessary, 
although  it  was  frequent.  It  helped  to  ratify  the  agreement 
and  guard  against  alteration  to  the  document.  The  seal  was 
usually  that  of  the  contracting  party  who  gave  up  a  claim,  or 
took  an  obligation  upon  himself;  in  case  two  parties  took  obli- 
gations on  themselves,  as  in  a  marriage  contract  or  partnership 
agreement,  both  attached  their  seals. 

By  far  the  most  common  of  the  business  transactions  relate 
to  sales  of  a  varied  nature.  Sales  of  slaves,  land,  house,  granary, 
grain,  date  palms  and  animals  being  among  the  most  common. 
When  the  parties  concerned  had  decided  upon  a  price,  the 
transaction  was  recorded  by  a  scribe,  probably  both  parties 
kept  a  copy,  and  a  third  was  made  for  the  temple  archives. 
It  is  possible  that  each  party  sealed  the  copy  held  by  the 
other.^  The  document  usually  began  with  an  identification 
of  the  object  of  sale,  followed  by  the  identity  of  the  con- 
tracting  parties;    a    statement    of   the   basis   of  the   transfer, 

1  AJSL  XXXIV  127;  BE  VIII  (i)  p.  40. 

2  J.  P.  Morgan  II  contains  nineteen  documents  referring  to  such  transference. 
Cf.  also  Johns,  Bab.  &  Ass.  215. 

3  Cf.  Babylonica  m  102.  4  AJSL  XXXII  250  f. 

5  JAOS  XXXIII,  XXXIV;  AJSL  XXIX,  articles  by  Mercer.  Also  "The 
Oath  in  Babylonian  and  Assyrian  Literature",  S.  A.  B.  Mercer. 

6  Johns  Bab.  &  Ass.  227. 


-    36    - 

whether  payment  was  made  in  full,  and  a  statement  to  guard 
against  either  party  trying  to  withdraw  from  the  bargain.'  A 
list  of  witnesses  was  appended.  At  an  early  time  *  we  find  that 
sometimes  not  only  the  actual  price  was  paid,  but  a  small  gift 
was  presented  to  the  seller,  though  this  custom  probably  did 
not  exist  in  Assyria. 3  The  scribe  received  a  fee  for  his  part 
in  the  transaction,  and  for  his  service  in  procuring  the  seller's 
seal  or  nail-mark.  Only  the  seller  affixed  his  seal.^  The  greater 
part  of  the  Assyrian  contract  is  devoted  to  statements  that  the 
seller  or  his  heirs  will  never  rescind  the  sale  or  bring  suit, 
penalties  being  stipulated.  It  is  often  stated  that  if  either  party 
attempt  to  bring  suit,  the  judges  shall  not  hear  him  and  he 
shall  lose  his  case.  But  while  attempt  to  break  the  agreement 
could  not  be  made,  in  Babylonia  the  seller  or  his  family  could 
later  buy  back  the  property.  There  is  no  mention  of  this  right 
in  the  Code,  but  there  are  a  few  contracts  which  attest  it.s 
If  however  a  sale  were  later  found  to  be  illegal,  further  steps 
could  be  taken,  and  another  contract  drawn  up  to  adjust  the 
matter.^  In  many  contracts  the  buyer  got  the  best  of  the 
bargain  in  that  he  was  safeguarded  against  fraud,  intentional 
or  unintentional  and  against  breaking  of  contract.  The  con- 
tracts relating  to  slaves  usually  state  that  if  the  slave  contracts 
the  bennu  sickness  within  a  stated  time  the  seller  shall  return 
the  payment  and  take  back  the  slave.  In  the  statement  of 
the  penalty,  it  is  always  the  seller  who  is  assumed  to  be  the 
offender,  it  is  in  connection  with  him  that  there  are  enumerated 
names  of  his  family,  relatives,  or  officials  of  the  district,  any  of 
whom  might  be  the  cause  of  the  breaking  of  the  contract. 
Johns  points  out  7  that  the  names  enumerated  thus  were  not 
necessarily  to  guard  against  their  breaking  the  contract,  but 
served  merely  as  a  means  of  stating  that  anyone  who  attempted 
it  would  be  penalized.  The  penalty  might  consist  of  the  paying 
of  a  definite  sum  of  money  to  a  deity,  an  obligation  to  dedicate 
horses  to  a  deity,  the  devotion  of  harbakanni  animals  to  a  god, 

1  Cf.  analysis  in  ADD  III  §  620  and  Schorr  p.  in. 

2  Manishtusu,  D^l^gation  en  Perse  II  i  f. 

3  Johns  Bab.  and  Ass.  230.  4  op.  cit.  231. 

5  Cf.  Schorr  p.  119. 

6  Cf.  Jastrow  in  papers  of  the  Philadelphia  Oriental  Club  1894,  pp.  116—136. 

7  ADD  III  S  600. 

—    37    — 

service  of  a  child  to  a  god,  or  a  payment  to  the  purchaser  of 
tenfold  its  amount.^  All  these  statements  were  doubtless  meant 
only  as  threats,  and  probably  were  not  carried  out.  The 
amount  of  the  money  threat  varied  according  to  the  amount 
of  the  purchase,  and  was  a  fairly  definite  proportion.^  Accor- 
ding to  the  Code,  a  purchaser  who  took  money,  or  real  estate 
from  the  hands  of  a  minor  without  contract  or  witnesses,  was 
considered  a  thief  and  received  the  thief's  penalty,  death.3  The 
purpose  of  the  sale  contract  was  not  only  to  guard  against 
the  seller  trying  to  reclaim  his  goods,  or  the  purchaser  trying 
to  claim  dissatisfaction,  but  it  also  might  serve  as  testimony 
in  the  event  that  the  goods  were  later  stolen  and  the  thief 
tried  to  claim  that  he  had  purchased  them.^ 

The  sale  of  land  or  a  house  was  the  most  frequent  of  this 
type  of  contract.5  In  this  kind  of  sale,  the  phrases  identifying 
the  object  of  sale,  state  the  boundaries,  usually  with  such 
exactness  that  if  we  had  records  of  all  the  land  transactions 
of  a  given  city,  we  could  draw  up  a  fairly  exact  plan  of  the 
streets  and  buildings.  Sales  of  date-palm  orchards^  and  other 
real  estate,  of  slaves  and  children,  of  cattle,^  sale- contracts  of 
all  kinds  ^  are  drawn  up  in  Babylonia  and  Assyria  in  relatively 
the  same  manner,  as  far  as  the  principle  of  legal  justice  is 
concerned,  all  showing  that  these  people  had  a  highly  devel- 
oped sense  of  property  right. 

The  Code,  as  well  as  the  contracts,  inform  us  that  a  large 
part  of  the  business  of  merchants  was  carried  on  by  agents,^ 
and  it  contains  laws  intended  to  protect  the  merchant  against 
the  dishonest  advantage  an  agent  might  take  of  him,  guarding 
against  his  carelessness  or  failure  to  report  the  real  amount  of 
his  sales.^°  These  merchants  employed  messengers  who  deliv- 
ered the  goods  assigned  to  them,  and  kept  a  record  of  the 
consignment,  to  which  the  messenger's  own  name  was  appended." 

1  op.  cit.  s  605  f. 

2  Cf.  ADD  III  p.  369.  3  §  7.  4  SS  9—13. 

5  Cf.  AJSLXXX  i7of.  JAOS  XXXVI  34;  PSBA  XXXIV  11 1;  BE  VIII  (i) 
34,  35,  37,  38.  6  AJSL  XXX  187.  7  ZA  V  276. 

8  BE  IX  (I)  18  f. 

9  ADD  II  SS  165,  187. 

10  SS  100—107.  Cf.  also  Fragment  of  Code  in  PSBA  XXXVI  loi,  XXIV  360. 
»«  For  such  documents  see  HLC. 

-     38     - 

Merchants  were  apparently  men  with  considerable  capital  who 
made  advances  to  cultivators;  the  Code  contains  laws  to  protect 
the  lender.^  This  system  of  agents,  from  whom  the  merchant 
received  a  percentage  of  the  proceeds  on  the  goods  sold,  furnishes 
us  with  an  early  example  of  profit-sharing.  Profits  were  some- 
times shared  by  two  persons  united  in  a  temporary  partnership.* 
Not  only  were  advances  of  money  made  as  a  business  enter- 
prise, but  also  as  loans  and  deposits.  The  loans  were  princi- 
pally of  corn  and  money,  corn  being  legal  tender,  money  loans 
being  payable  in  corn,  unless  otherwise  stipulated.  Loans  were 
usually  temporary  and  made  at  harvest  time  to  meet  the 
expenses  of  harvest  labor,  but  to  be  repaid  shortly  after  the 
harvest.3  In  Assyria  loans  were  often  made  without  interest 
on  security. ■<  In  later  Babylonian  times  it  was  sometimes 
stipulated  that  a  loan  was  without  interest.s  Promissory  notes 
were  given  as  protection.^  Many  of  the  loans  and  advances 
made  were  by  a  landlord  to  his  farmers ;  he  must  supply  them 
with  materials  for  raising  their  crop,?  and  the  farmer  was 
bound  to  return  the  stock  or  its  equivalent.  If  he  kept  it  beyond 
the  appointed  time,  a  fine  was  imposed;^  loans  or  advances  of 
this  kind  however  were  probably  on  easy  terms  because  it  was 
of  advantage  to  the  landlord  to  supply  his  workers.  Most  of 
the  loan  tablets  state  that  if  the  loan  is  not  paid  at  a  stated 
time,  interest  will  be  charged  at  a  fixed  rate.  In  the  Baby- 
lonian contracts,  interest  is  usually  reckoned  per  month,^  and 
while  the  basis  of  reckoning  was  not  usually  mentioned  on 
the  Assyrian  tablets,  we  may  assume,  with  Johns,^^  that  it  was 
reckoned  by  the  month  as  in  Babylonia.  Money,  therefore, 
was  not  lent  for  the  sake  of  obtaining  an  income  from  the 
interest;  the  interest  was  intended  as  a  penalty  or  deterrent, 
and  as  a  means  of  insuring  attention  to  business.  Johns  con- 
cludes that  in  Assyria  at  least  there  was  no  standard  rate  of 

^  §§  49—52,  66.     Cf.  Fragment  in  Arch.  &  Bib.  321. 

2  BE  (A)  X  No.  44.     Cf.  YBT  Vol.  II  No.  92. 

3  BE  (A)  XIV  No.  Ill;  BE  (A)  VI  (2)  No.  16. 

4  For  explanation  see  ADD  III  S  375  and  for  examples  BE  VIII  (l)  p.  45» 
47,  48.     HLC  I  334. 

5  BE  (A)  VIII  (I)  No.  93.  6  BE  (A)  III  (i)  No.  it,  13. 
7  PSBA  XXXIV  III.                        8  ADD  III  S  3^3- 

9  Cf.  Cappadocian  Tablets  in  RA  VIII  142  ff.  10  ADD  III  S  389. 

—     39    — 

interest,  and  no  law  to  prevent  the  charging  of  a  large  rate,^ 
sometimes  33V3  7o.^  The  fragment  of  the  Code  published  in 
BE  V  PL.  39,  and  translated  by  Scheil,^  relates  to  the  legal 
rate  of  interest  in  Babylonia,^  as  reckoned  on  the  basis  of  grain. 
Much  of  the  lending  was  done  in  the  temple,  the  temple  being 
often  mentioned  as  the  place  where  the  loan  was  to  be  returned. 
The  Shamash  priestesses,  or  SAL  ME  were  frequent  lenders,5 
whether  they  acted  in  the  capacity  of  officials,  or  on  their 
own  responsibility,  is  not  always  clear.  The  official  recognition 
of  the  termination  of  a  loan  transaction  was  the  breaking  of 
the  tablet  after  it  had  been  paid. 

If  a  man  who  borrowed  was  unable  to  repay,  or  if  a  man 
fell  into  debt  by  any  cause,  he  was  protected  by  the  Code. 
If  his  inability  to  pay  was  due  to  destruction  of  his  crops  by 
storm  or  drought,  he  need  not  pay  to  his  creditor  either  prin- 
cipal or  interest;^  but  if  for  any  other  reason  he  had  not  raised 
grain  and  produce,  he  was  not  freed  from  his  obligation.^  If 
a  man  who  was  in  debt,  died  in  the  creditor's  house,  the  claim 
was  cancelled,  and  if  he  had  died  there  by  violence,  the 
creditor  was  prosecuted.^  A  debtor  could  sell  his  wife,  son,  or 
daughter  into  service  for  three  years,  as  a  means  of  paying  off 
his  debt ^9  he  could  not  sell  his  maidservant  who  had  borne 
him  children,**'  but  if  he  bound  over  for  service  a  male  or 
female  slave,  he  could  have  no  future  claim  on  them."  The 
debtor  was  regarded  as  a  criminal,  and  could  be  seized  by  the 
creditor  and  imprisoned  in  his  house.  This  situation  evidently 
led  to  abuse  and  it  became  necessary  to  protect  the  debtor. 
According  to  Jastrow,  law  ii6  is  a  later  development  than  115." 
If  a  man  levied  a  distraint  unjustly,  he  was  fined.* ^  That  laws 
were  enforced  upon  officials  as  well  as  upon  the  common 
people,  we  have  evidence  in  a  letter  of  Hammurapi  in  which 
he  forces  a  governor  to  pay  a  debt  of  three  years  standing 
to  a  merchant. *4   A  fragment  of  the  Codecs  gives  a  bankrupt 

I  op.  cit.  S  399-  2  op.  cit.  S  390.  ^  RA  XIII  p.  49. 

4  Cf.  Cuq  RA  XIII  p.  143.  5  Schorr  p.  67.  6  §  48. 

7  S  52.  8  SS  Il5t  116.  9  g  117.  10  §  119. 

11  8  118.     Cf.  BE  I  (2)  p.  84;  BE  (A)  VIII  (1)  No.  28. 

12  Jastrow  Civilization  300.  i3  $%  113,  114. 
14  King  Ham.  Letters  III  p.  32. 

>5  Poebel  BE  V  No.  93  Col.  3.     Cf.  Barton  Arch.  &  Bib.  321. 

—    40     - 

law,  providing  that  the  debtor,  lacking  money,  could  discharge 
his  debt  by  handing  over  to  the  creditor  whatever  property 
he  had. 

A  man  might  be  temporarily  relieved  of  his  debt  obligation 
if  he  could  find  someone  to  act  as  surety  for  him.  Whether 
pledges  were  made  in  the  earliest  times  is  subject  to  some 
difference  of  opinion.^  The  right  of  a  man  to  give  his  wife 
or  child  in  return  for  payment  is  an  example  of  a  pledge  given 
to  off-set  the  interest,  and  this  type  of  pledge  was  the  most 
common  in  Assyria,  and  in  Babylonia  after  the  First  Dynasty.^ 
During  the  First  Dynasty  the  right  of  pledge  was  not  common, 
but  in  the  Neo-Babylonian  period,  the  principle  developed  to  a 
more  elaborate  system.^  The  object  of  pledge  could  be  a 
field,  house,  right  to  collect  toll,  slave,  son,  —  any  profitable 
property,  and  the  benefits  of  any  of  these  were  utilized  by  the 
holder  of  the  pledge.  The  right  to  utilize  the  object  of  the 
pledge  compensated  for  the  interest,  estimated  at  the  value  of 
the  contract.4  Even  where  there  is  no  interest  or  special 
obligation  stated,  it  is  probable  that  the  borrower  was  in  some 
way  the  dependent  of  the  lender,  for  it  would  seem  that  the 
lender  must  have  had  some  security  other  than  the  debtor's 

Guarantees  are  frequent,  and  of  various  kinds.  There  are 
guarantees  for  debt;^  for  example  an  individual  becomes  surety 
for  the  payment  of  a  relative's  indebtedness  to  another; 7  slaves 
are  held  as  security;^  there  are  guarantees  for  the  delivery  of 
goods  9  as  well  as  obligation  to  appear  at  an  appointed  time 
or  place  either  to  pay  a  debt  or  act  as  witness  ;^°  there  are  also 
guarantees  against  defects  in  a  slave  and  against  theft."  A 
common  form  of  guarantee  is  found  in  the  case  of  two  men 
owing  a  third  man;  each  of  the  two  is  taken  as  guarantee 
that   the   other  will  pay."    Guarantees  were  made  as  to  the 

I  Cf.  Johns  Bab.  &  Ass.  262.  2  op.  cit.  263;  Babylonica  II  II. 

3  Cf.  Cuq  RA  XII  88  f. ;  and  Koschaker,  P.,  Babylonisch- Assyrisches  Biirg- 
schaftsrecht,  Leip.  1911.  4  RA  XII  95.  5  ADD  III  S  462. 

6  BE  (A)  III  (I)  No.  7. 

7  BE  (A)  VIII  (i)  No.  25,  No.  105;   BE  (A)  IX  No.  57;  YBT  IV  No.  55. 

8  BE  (A)  VIII  (I)  p.  19.  9  op.  cit.  No.  39. 
10  op.  cit.  No.  25.                   "  Darius  93. 

12  Nabonidus  133,  cf.  Johns  Bab.  &  Ass.  p.  269. 

—    41     — 

quality  or  durability  of  goods,  as  a  document  from  the  time 
of  Artaxerxes  I  guaranteeing  indemnity  if  an  emerald  fall  out 
of  its  setting  before  the  end  of  twenty  years.'  Mortgage  was 
common,*  especially  in  the  later  time,  sometimes  two  or  more 
persons  pledged  their  joint  property  as  security  for  payment 
of  a  debt.  3 

All  kinds  of  property  were  offered  for  rent,  especially  land,* 
house,s  slaves,  farming  supplies  and  animals.^  If  a  man  hired 
a  piece  of  land  for  the  purpose  of  cultivating  it,  he  was  bound 
to  do  so,  and  if  he  did  not,  he  was  responsible  for  paying 
average  rent  and  returning  the  land  in  good  condition.7  If  a 
farmer  rented  a  field  and  the  crops  were  destroyed  by  flood, 
he  must  bear  the  loss  himself,  §  45,  but  if  the  rent  had  not 
been  received  by  the  owner,  whether  it  were  let  for  half  or  a 
third  of  the  crop,  the  farmer  and  the  owner  of  the  field  were 
to  share  according  to  their  agreement  that  which  remained, 
§  46.  A  man  might  sublet  the  field,  §  47.  There  was  pro- 
vision for  the  lease  of  a  field,  for  several  years;  the  gardener 
who  leased  it  being  expected  to  cultivate  it  and  share  with  the 
owner,  §§  60 — 65.^  A  fragment  of  the  Code  has  a  law  relating 
to  the  penalty  imposed  upon  a  house  owner  who,  though  he 
had  been  paid  rent  in  full,  ordered  the  tenant  to  vacate  before 
the  expiration  of  the  lease,^  but  as  the  tablet  is  broken,  we 
cannot  know  what  the  penalty  was.  The  rent  of*  a  house 
varied  according  to  the  size  and  location;  the  lease  was  usually 
for  one  year,  the  rent  being  due  at  the  end  of  the  term.  The 
tenant  was  credited  with  the  amount  he  had  found  it  necessary 
to  spend  on  repairs.*^   A  receipt  for  rent  was  given." 

The  process  of  exchange  is  treated  by  one  law  only  in  the 
Code,  §41,  which  pronounces  illegal  the  exchange  of  a  bene- 
fice.    Other  exchanges  could  be  executed,  and  probably  were 

I  Cf.  BE  (A)  IX  No.  41,  AJSL  XXXI  p.  80.  2  BE  (A)  X  No.  62. 

3  BE  (A)  IX  No.  17. 

4  BE  VIII  (1)  p.  44;  BE  (A)  IX  No.  48;  AJSL  XXX  p.  169  f. 

5  WZKM  IV  113;  J.  P.  Morgan  II  p.  36;  BE  (A)  VIII  (l)  No.  104. 

6  BE  (A)  X  131;  BE  (A)  VIII  (i)  No.  63.  7  §S  42—44- 

8  Cf.  BE  (A)  X  p.  21,   lessor  of  fish-pond  to  supply  agent  with  daily  fish. 

9  BE  V  No.  93  Col.  II,  cf.  Arch.  &  Bib.  32 1. 

10  BE  (A)  VIII  (i)  No.  112. 

11  BE  (A)  X  No.  126. 

—     42     — 

common;^  the  contract  sealed  the  transaction,  stating  the  two  ob- 
jects to  be  sold,  the  two  persons  making  the  exchange,  and  so  on. 

All  business  was  not  carried  on  by  private  persons,  there 
existed  partnerships  and  business  firms.  Partnership  is  found 
early,  and  in  a  simple  form;  two  men  buy  a  piece  of  land,  or 
undertake  some  similar  business  project  together.^  The  only 
law  regarding  partnership  that  exists  is  from  the  fragment  of 
the  Code,3  which  states  that  when  a  man  gives  money  to 
another  man  for  partnership,  the  profit  is  before  the  gods,  and 
they  shall  do  business  together.  Sometimes  the  business  was 
done  through  a  third  person  acting  as  agent.-^  During  the 
period  of  partnership,  debts  received  by  one  party  became 
partly  the  responsibility  of  the  other.s  Dissolution  of  the 
partnership  must  come  before  the  court.^  In  the  event  of  the 
death  of  one  member  of  the  firm,  settlement  of  his  share  in 
the  business  was  made  with  his  heirs. ^ 

In  the  later  time  larger  business  alliances  were  formed.  Of 
the  actual  workings  of  such  firms  we  know  little,  but  we  have 
collections  of  documents  bearing  the  same  names  as  trans- 
actors of  business,  such  as  those  of  the  Marashu  Sons.^  Such 
firms  kept  files  of  their  business  transactions;  and  in  the  late 
period,  when  cuneiform  was  falling  into  disuse  as  a  vernacular, 
these  documents  had  Aramaic  notations  made  on  them  to  assist 
the  clerl^  in  filing.  That  such  a  system  was  resorted  to,  shows 
not  only  the  highly  developed  business  methods,  but  the  value 
set  upon  such  documents  as  a  means  of  guarding  against  future 
disagreement  regarding  a  transaction. 

The  industrial  life  of  these  peoples  was  varied.  We  find 
mention  of  fishermen, 9  soap-makers (?)'°  weavers,"  leather 
workers,"  carpenters,'^  bakers,'^  jewellers,'5  and  metal  workers,'^ 

1  Cf.  J.  P.  Morgan  II  No.  35,  BE  VIII  (i)  p.  56.  Schorr  Nos.  112—117. 

2  Cf.  AJSL  XXX  188,  BE  (A)  X  No.  55;  ZA  I  202 f. 
^  Cf.  Arch.  &  Bib.  321. 

4  Jastrow  Civilization  p.  354;  Strassmaier,  Nabon.  652,  572. 

5  CT  II  28*;  Jastrow  Civilization  p.  355. 

6  Strassmaier,  Nabon.  No.  116,  Jastrow  Civilisation  355. 

7  AJSL  XXX  195.  8  BE  (A)  X. 

9  Ham.  Letters  III  p.  122.  10  RA  VII  113- 

11  JAGS  XXXVI  415;  ADD  n  S  146;  BE  (A)  XVII  (i)  p.  100,  108. 

12  Johns  Bab.  &  Ass.  301;  ADD  II  S  166.  U  ADD  II  §  197. 

14  Ham.  Letters  III  43.  i5  ADD  II  $  200.  16  Ham.  Letters  III  53. 

—     43     — 

brick-makers,*  fullers,^^  and  store-keepers.3  While  these  industries 
probably  did  not  constitute  a  real  caste  system,  it  is  probable 
that  members  of  the  same  family  followed  the  same  trade,  and 
that  there  may  have  been,  as  Johns  suggests,^  a  group  of  in- 
dustrial guilds.    In  Urukagina's  cone  we  read: 5 

U'Ul-li-a-ta  From  a  former  time, 

mmiim-e-a-ta  from  the  beginning, 

ud-bi-a  unto  this  day, 

lu-ma-lah-ge  the  boatman  by 

ma  ezi  the  boat  lives, 

ansii  u-du-li  by  the  ass  the  muleteer, 

e-zi  lives, 

tidu  u-du-li  by  the  sheep  the  shepherd 

e-(2i)  lives, 

U'sar  u-(ka  sar)     from  the  low-lying  vegetable  garden 

essad-du  the  dyke-tender 

e-zi  lives. 

These  lines,  in  contrast  with  Col.  VII  i.  27 — 35  which  state 
that  Urukagina  released  the  boatman  from  the  boat,  the 
shepherd  from  the  ass  and  sheep,  and  the  dyke-tender  from 
the  garden,  suggest  that  in  this  early  time  a  system  of  trade 
guilds  existed.  Had  we  further  evidence  to  support  it,  these 
lines  might  refer  to  a  caste  system  which  Urukagina  strove  to 
eradicate.  In  expressing  family  relationship,  the  Babylonians 
often  referred  to  themselves  as  the  "son  of  the  baker",  etc. 
The  gentes  or  guilds  reflect  the  old  tribal  organization  and  show 
the  solidarity  of  the  group.  These  groups  or  kimtu  possessed 
a  right  of  intervention  in  alienation  of  property,  male  or  female 
representatives  having  power  to  exercise  the  right.^  It  is 
possible,  however,  that  a  person  called  "son  of  a  baker",  or 
the  like,  was  one  who  had  been  adopted  to  learn  the  trade. 
The  Code  provides  that  a  man  may  adopt  his  apprentice.7 
This  would  indicate  that  there  was  no  iron-bound  rule  requiring 
a  man  to  follow  the  trade  of  the  family  into  which  he  was 
born,  and  it  may  indicate  that  to  enter  another  trade,  he  must 

1  ADD  II  S  173.  =^  BE  (A)  XVII  (i)  p.  124. 

3  AJSL  XXVII  201(b).  4  Johns  Bab.  &  Ass.  121. 

5  Cone  B  &  C.    Cf.  D^c.  pi.  LII. 

6  ADD  II  S  104.  7  SS  18-^,  189- 

—     44     — 

claim  legal  adoption  into  a  family  engaged  in  that  trade.  Johns 
suggests*  that  with  the  increase  in  the  number  of  slaves,  and 
their  entrance  into  the  trades,  the  old  artisan  guilds  may  have 
been  supplanted  and  gradually  dissolved.  In  some  instances 
we  seem  to  have  examples  of  home  work,  large  amounts  of 
wool  and  other  raw  material  being  held  by  the  temple  or 
palace  and  given  out  under  bond  to  private  establishments 
for  work.* 

As  the  industrial  life  became  more  complicated,  a  definite 
system  of  bookkeeping  arose.  The  many  offerings  given  to  the 
temples,  the  tithes,  the  wages  of  temple  officials  and  industrial 
workers,  the  records  of  consignments,  must  all  be  recorded. 
For  the  early  period  we  have  a  large  number  of  temple  records, 
accounts  of  oil,  wool,  and  so  forth,  received  and  recorded  by 
the  priests,^  accounts  of  reeds  and  wood,*  records  of  deliveries 
of  produce,^  consignments  of  provisions  for  temple  officials,^ 
inventories,?  and  gifts.^  Interesting  examples  of  ancient  book- 
keeping are  pay-rolls.^  An  early  tablet  giving  the  pay-roll  of 
a  temple,  has  space  for  the  figures  left  blank.*°  The  Cassite 
period  had  a  highly  developed  form  of  bookkeeping,  less 
awkward,  and  more  systematic  than  that  of  preceding  periods." 
The  payrolls  show  that  the  wages  of  women  were  lower  than 
those  of  men  and  the  wages  of  children  still  less.^*  The  acti- 
vity of  women  in  industrial  and  public  life,  and  their  legal  rights, 
are  among  the  most  noteworthy  phenomena  of  Mesopotamian 

Wages  were  paid  either  in  produce  or  in  currency,  and  the 
average  wage  per  year  for  a  workman  has  been  estimated  as 

I  Johns  Bab.  &  Ass.  1 21.  2  op.  cit.  203. 

3  Cf.  Hussey  Sumerian  Tablets  Vols.  I  &  II;  YBT  Vol.  IV,  V. 

4  AJSL  XXVII  322,  XXVIII  207,  XXIX  138. 

5  RA  VIII  183  ff.;  IV  69  f.;  JAOS  XXXIII 167  f.;  PSBA  XXXIV  109  f.;  BE 
IX  (1)  21. 

6  RA  VI  135.  7  op.  cit.  144;  BE  I  (2)  98.  8  RA  VI  146. 
9  RA  XII  15;  AJSL  XXVII  198;  XXXIII  208;  Thureau-Dangin,  Invent,  de 

Tello  II  No.  618;  BE  VIII  (i)  p.  62;  BE  (A)  III  (i)  p.  68;  HLC  III,  PI.  113, 
114.  10  JAOS  XVIII  363. 

"  AJSL  XXIII  282;  Cf.  also  BE  (A)  XV  No.  25,  passim;  and  HLC  I  18. 

12  Cf.  BE  (A)  XIV  No.  58. 

13  For  further  discussion  see  pp.  53 — 54;  60  note  4. 

-    45     - 

five  shekels.'  But  the  study  of  the  standardization  of  wages 
belongs  rather  to  an  economic  discussion.  We  may  note, 
however,  that  the  Code  regulates  the  fees  for  builders,  boatmen, 
oxen  by  the  year,  field  laborers,  herdsmen,  shepherds,  and 
animals  and  men.^  A  curious  arrangement  is  recorded  in 
S  273  whereby  a  laborer  receives  more  pay  for  the  first  five 
months  of  the  year  than  for  the  last  months. 

This  brief  sketch  of  the  principal  business  relationships  as 
practiced  in  Babylonia  and  Assyria  reveals  the  chief  moral 
tendencies  in  the  commercial  world.  We  have  noted  that 
from  the  earliest  time  to  which  our  written  documents  refer, 
property  right  of  the  individual  was  recognized  and  respected; 
the  protection  of  property  was  no  longer  left  entirely  to  the 
family  or  individual,  but  was  controlled  by  law,  either  by  civil 
or  sacerdotal  officials.  While  we  have  only  small  fragments 
of  such  laws,  it  is  probable  that  attempts  to  standardize  them 
for  the  mutual  advantage  of  the  inhabitants  of  Sumer  was  made 
early.  The  marriage  and  divorce  customs  were  not  only  to 
regulate  relations  between  the  sexes,  but  were  considered  in 
the  same  light  as  laws  governing  property  right.  Sale,  rent, 
taxation,  loans,  were  controlled  by  civil  law,  subject  to  definite 
legal  procedure,  which  when  transacted,  could  not  be  annulled 
without  recourse  to  a  court.  The  phraseology  of  the  various 
types  of  contracts  testifies  to  the  regularity  of  legal  control. 
The  moral  principle  of  the  pledge  and  of  surety  early  emerged 
and  developed  a  legal  code  which  shows  a  highly  developed 
sense  of  moral  obligation. 

Though  we  are  justified  in  first  discussing  some  of  the  moral 
tendencies  of  the  nation,  we  find  the  fundamental  social  unit 
in  the  family.  That  the  solidarity  of  the  family  as  such 
persisted,  may  be  seen  from  a  document  of  the  time  of  Na- 
bonidus.3  A  woman  brought  suit  against  a  certain  Nabu-akhi- 
iddin  because  she  had  not  received  payment  for  a  slave  she 
had  sold  to  him.  The  defendant  produced  a  receipt  proving 
that  the  payment  had  been  made  to  the  sons  of  the  plaintiff. 
Investigation  showed  that  the  sons  had  embezzled  the  money. 

^  Jastrow  Civilization  353. 

2  Cf.  §S  228,  234,  243,  257,  258,  261,  268—277. 

3  Cf.  Barton:  Assyrian  and  Babylonian  Literature,  Aldine  ed.  p.  276. 

-     46     - 

As  a  penalty  for  having  brought  false  suit,  the  plaintiff  had  to 
pay  the  entire  amount  of  the  slave  sale  j  the  woman  was  held 
responsible  for  the  crimes  of  her  sons. 

The  early  fragments  assume  the  legal  status  of  marriage, 
but  give  us  divorce  laws  only.  The  Code  of  Hammurapi  de- 
finitely provides,  §  128,  that  a  marriage  is  not  legal  unless  there 
is  a  contract.  A  marriage  usually  involved  some  settlement; 
a  betrothal  present,  tirhatam,  was  given  to  the  bride's  father, 
and  if  the  groom  broke  the  engagement,  he  must  forfeit  this, 
§159.  A  document  of  the  Ur  period  shows  that  the  consent 
of  both  parents  was  necessary  to  annul  a  betrothal.*  But  if 
the  father  of  the  bride  later  refused  to  allow  his  daughter  to 
marry,  he  must  double  the  amount  of  the  tirhatam  and  return 
it  to  the  groom,  §  1 60.  The  practice  of  giving  this  tirhatam  to 
the  parent  of  the  woman  may  very  probably  be  a  relic  of  the 
primitive  custom  of  bride  purchase,  as  Jastrow  maintains.'  The 
actual  dowry  or  marriage  portion,  seriktu,  given  by  the  bride's 
father  to  his  daughter  at  marriage  seems  to  have  played  an 
important  part  in  controlling  the  marital  status.  The  early 
legal  fragments  do  not  furnish  us  with  material  relating  to 
these  marriage  settlements.  The  Hammurapi  Code  provides 
that  the  seriktu  was  to  be  refunded  to  the  woman,  be  she  wife 
or  sugetim,  if  divorced  without  cause,  §  137,  138;  or  to  an  in- 
valid wife  returning  to  her  father,  §149.  A  widow  upon 
remarrying  took  her  dowry  with  her,  §  172.  Besides  this 
seriktu  which  was  given  at  marriage,  a  marriage  gift  or  nu- 
dunnu  was  given  by  the  husband  to  the  wife,  which  at  her 
death  belonged  to  her  children,  §  171,  172.  In  the  later  Baby- 
lonian period,  we  find  among  the  laws  published  by  Peiser,3 
Law  C,  Col.  Ill  3 — 15,  a  law  providing  for  a  double  settlement; 
the  father  of  the  son  upon  the  groom,  and  the  father  of  the 
woman  upon  the  bride,  and  neither  party,  it  would  seem,  could 
go  back  on  its  agreement.  This  corresponds  to  the  tirhatam 
of  the  Code.  Another  of  these  laws,  Law  E  Col.  Ill  23—31, 
protected  the  bride's  father  who,  having  made  an  agreement 

1  RA  VIII  27. 

2  Jastrow  Civilization  p.  345;  JAOS  XXXVI  5. 

3  Sitzungsberichte    der   Koniglichen  Akademie  der  Wissenschaften  zu  Berlin 
1889,  pp.  825  f. 

-     47     - 

as  to  the  amount  of  her  marriage  portion,  later  had  financial 
reverses  which  rendered  him  unable  to  meet  his  pledge.  The 
law  allowed  him  to  fulfill  the  pledge  by  giving  according  to 
his  means.  In  these  later  Babylonian  laws  the  midunnu  is  the 
dowry  and  the  seriktu  the  husband's  gift  to  his  wife. 

One  of  the  earliest  regulations  relating  to  divorce  is  found 
in  the  reforms  of  Urukagina.^  Urukagina  tells  us  that  formerly 
this  condition  was  found: 

lu-dam-u-kid  (When)  a  man  divorces  his  wife, 

ku'gin  V  an  five  shekels 

pa-te-si-ge  to  the  patesi 

ba-timt  he  pays; 

ku-gin-\-an  one  shekel 

sukkal-mah-e  the  great  official 

ba-tum  receives. 

From  this  it  appears  that  at  an  early  time  the  divorce  money  was 
paid  to  the  patesi  who  gave  a  certain  percent  to  the  grand 
vizier.  While  this  may  have  been  originally  intended  to  be  a 
deterrent  against  divorce,  it  probably  had  the  opposite  effect; 
it  increased  the  revenue  of  the  officials,  and  gave  the  woman 
no  economic  protection.  Urukagina  claims  to  have  changed 
this  evil  so  that  these  officials  received  nothing.*  Whether  he 
was  the  means  of  transferring  the  payment  to  the  wife  we  do 
not  know,  but  in  the  so-called  "Sumerian  Family  Laws"  we  read:^ 
sum-ma  If 

as-sa-at  mu-us-su  a  woman  her  husband 

i'Zi-ir-ma  *  resists, 

ul  mu-ti  atta  (and)  "Thou  art  not  (my)  husband", 

ik-ta-bi  shall  say, 

a-na  na-a-ru  into  the  river 

i-na-ad-du-su  they  shall  throw  her. 

sum-ma  If 

mu-ut  a-na  as-sa-ti-su  a  man  to  his  wife 

ul  as-sa-ti  at-ta  "Thou  (art)  not  (my)  wife, 

ik-ta-bi  shall  say," 

y,  ma-na  kaspi  i-sak-kal     ^2  mana  of  silver  he  shall  weigh  out. 

I  Oval  Plaque  Col.  II 1.  15—21  D^c.  pi.  L.  a  Oval  Plaque  CoL  III  1.  1—5. 

3  V  R  25;  Delitzsch,  Les.  2nd.  ed.  p.  76;  4th  ed.  p.  115. 

4  Cf.  Haupt's  interpretation  in  ZA  XXX  93—9,. 

-     48     - 

These  two  laws  show  the  inequality  in  the  legal  status  of  the 
man  and  woman;  it  was  a  simple  matter  for  a  Sumerian  man 
to  rid  himself  of  his  wife.  The  only  other  divorce  law  that  we 
have  from  a  period  prior  to  the  Hammurapi  Code,  appears  on 
the  same  tablet  with  the  above  quoted  laws.  Unfortunately 
the  Obverse  of  this  inscription  is  entirely  effaced,  and  as  this 
law  referring  to  divorce  is  the  first  on  the  Reverse,  it  is  diffi- 
cult, especially  in  the  light  of  the  five  or  six  laws  which  follow, 
to  decide  what  was  the  context  that  may  have  preceded. 
These  laws,  so  long  entirely  misunderstood,*  present  a  number 
of  interesting  sociological  points  to  be  discussed  later  ^  in 
connection  with  Babylonian  votaries.  To  quote  only  the  Se- 
mitic text  of  this  law: 

u-zu'bu-sii  i-ha-as-ma  Her  divorce  money  he  shall  take, 

i-na  su-ni'SU  ir-ku-us  in  her  girdle  he  shall  bind  it, 

ina  bit  u-se-si-su  from  the  house  he  shall  cause 

her  to  go  out. 
a-7ta  ma-ti-ma  mu-ut  lib-bi-su  Forever  a  husband  of  her  choice 
i-hu-uS'SU  she  may  marry. 

U'ul  i-ra-ag-gu-um-si  He  shall  not  sue  her. 

In  the  Code,  however,  a  sugetim  or  Sal  Me  who  had  borne 
children,^  if  divorced  without  just  cause,  received  her  dowry 
and  the  income  of  the  fields,  garden,  and  goods  to  enable  her 
to  bring  up  her  children,  §  137.  If  she  had  no  children,  she 
received  from  her  husband  the  amount  of  her  tirhatam  and  her 
seriktam,  §  138.  If  it  happened  that  there  had  been  no  mar- 
riage settlement,  the  husband  must  give  her  one  mana  of  silver, 
§  139,  or  if  he  were  a  freeman,  ^/^  mana,  §  140.  On  the  other 
hand,  if  a  woman  had  neglected  her  household,  she  received 
nothing,  §  141.  If  a  woman  resisted  her  husband  and  desired 
divorce,  she  could  have  a  trial,  and  if  found  blameless,  she 
received  her  dowry  and  returned  to  her  father's  house,  §  I42.4 
These  laws  show  considerable  development  over  the  Sumerian; 
the  wife  is  given  fair  trial,  and  there  is  in  no  case  a  death 
penalty   for  the   woman.    Women  once  married  were  free  to 

1  V  R  25;  Trans,  by  Barton  in  AJSL  XXXVII  pp.  62—71. 

2  See  pp.  54—79- 

3  For  interpretation  of  sugetim  and  SAL  ME  see  p.  58. 

4  Cf.  note  4  p.  47. 

~    49    — 

marry  again,  whether  divorced,  §  137,  or  widowed,  §§  172 — 4, 
177.  The  wife  of  a  man  who  had  deserted  his  city  and  fled, 
could  also  remarry,  §  136.  That  it  was  the  custom  for  a  man 
to  continue  to  live  in  his  father's  house  after  marriage  is  im- 
plied by  §§  155  and  156.  There  is  evidence  from  §  166  and 
from  a  legal  document'  that  a  man  was  not  free  to  marry 
without  his  father's  consent,  and  from  the  abduction  laws  of 
the  Yale  text^  it  appears  that  a  woman  must  have  the  con- 
sent of  her  parents. 

Scanty  as  our  material  is  for  the  early  period,  we  may  trace 
a  distinct  development  in  the  divorce  regulations.  We  note 
the  transfer  of  the  payment  of  the  divorce  money  from  offi- 
cials to  the  woman.  The  money  which  the  woman  received 
was  at  first  a  nominal  sum,  and  by  the  time  of  the  First  Dy- 
nasty, the  amount  received  was  regulated  by  the  amount  of 
her  tirhatam  and  seriktam. 

From  the  earliest  time  the  prevailing  custom  seems  to  have 
been  to  permit  only  one  legal  wife,  and  the  Code  allows  con- 
cubines. As  early  as  the  time  of  Urukagina  there  are  found 
among  his  other  social  reforms,  regulations  against  bigamy. 
The  law  gave  the  man  a  right  to  divorce  his  wife  if  he  discov- 
ered that  she  had  been  previously  married  to  two  men.3 
sal  ud-bi-ta-e-ne  (If)   the  woman  before  she  was 

in  his  house 
nitah  2-ta  two  men 

ni-tug-an  possessed, 

sal-ud-da-e-ne  now  the  woman  they,  — 

za-as-da-bi  fti-stib  the  man  who  wishes  shall  cast  off. 

It  is  possible  to  interpret  this  text  as  meaning  that  the  woman 
had  been  married  to  two  men  successively,  but  if  this  be  the 
case,  it  is  difficult  to  understand  why  the  third  husband  should 
necessarily  wish  to  divorce  her.  Two  frequently  quoted,*  un- 
dated documents  which  Schorr  assigns  to  the  time  of  Sinmu- 
ballit  record  the  marriage  of  two  sisters  s  to  one  man.  But  it 
appears  that  one  sister  is  to  be  subservient  to  the  other. 

I  Cf.  Johns  Bab.  &  Ass.  127,  Cyrus  312. 

a  YBT  Vol.  I,  p.  22.  3  Oval  Plaque,  D6c.  L. 

4  CT  II  44;  Schorr  No.  4;  MAP  89,  etc. 

5  Meissner  in  Alte  Orient  VII  (i)  23  says  probably  not  actual  sister. 


—    50    - 

The  expression  su-ge-tim  which  appears  in  the  Code,  has 
ben  interpreted  as  concubine,  but  the  interpretation  of  Peiser 
and  Landsberger  seems  the  more  probable.^  But  whatever 
function  the  sugetim  performed  in  Babylonian  society,  it  is 
certain  that  the  amtu  served  as  a  recognized  concubine,  §§  144, 
146.  If  the  amtu  bore  children,  her  mistress  could  not  sell 
her,  §§  146,  147.  That  the  sons  of  an  amtu  in  a  royal  family 
could  hold  full  rank  is  indicated  by  the  fact  that  the  mother 
of  Esarhaddon  was  an  amat^ 

Further  laws  regulating  morality  within  the  family  group  are 
those  dealing  with  incest  and  adultery.  The  early  legal  frag- 
ments have  no  material  relating  to  this.  But  incest  is  dealt 
with  in  the  Code  by  four  laws:  concerning  a  man  and  his 
daughter,  penalty,  expulsion  from  the  city  §  154;  father  and 
daughter-in-law,  penalty,  father  drowned  §  155;  a  father  and 
his  son's  betrothed,  penalty,  father  fined  §  156;  a  man  and  his 
mother  after  the  death  of  his  father,  penalty,  both  burned  S  I57  ; 
a  man  and  his  father's  chief  wife  who  has  borne  children,  pe- 
nalty, man  disinherited  %\l%.  Jastrow  considers  §§  156  and 
158  a  late  development,  but  in  any  case  it  will  be  noted  that 
in  only  one  circumstance  is  the  woman  penalized.  Adultery 
was  a  capital  offense,  the  offenders  being  bound  and  thrown 
into  the  river  §  129;  but  the  husband  might  save  his  wife,  or 
the  king  his  male  servant  A  man  who  forced  a  virgin  who 
was  betrothed,  was  put  to  death  and  the  woman  allowed  to 
go  free,  §  130.  If  a  man  falsely  accused  his  wife,  she  could 
take  an  oath  in  the  name  of  the  god  and  return  to  her  house 
S  1 3 1 ;  on  the  other  hand,  if  a  wife  was  falsely  accused  because 
of  another  man,  for  her  husband's  sake,  {ana  mutisa),  she  must 
throw  herself  into  the  river,  %\Z2. 

Children,  legitimate  or  adopted,  were  entirely  under  the  con- 
trol of  their  parents,  and  any  disloyalty  was  severely  punished. 
In  the  Sumerian  Family  Laws  we  read,  to  quote  the  Semitic 
version : 

sum-ma  ma-ru  a-na  a-bi-su        If  a  child  to  its  father, 
ul-a-bi  (at-ta)  My  father  (thou  art)  not 

ik-ta-(bi)  shall  say, 

I  See  discussion  cited  below  p.  58.  «  AJSL  XXIX  26  f. 

-    51    — 

u-gal'la-ab-su  they  shall  brand  him, 

ab'bu-(ud-tiim)  i-sa-ak-ga-su  a  fetter  they  shall  bind  upon  him 
u  a-na  kaspi  i-nam-ru-su  and  for  money  shall  sell  him. 

sum-ma  ma-ri  a-na  um-mi-su     If  a  child  to  his  mother, 
td  um-mi  at-ti  ik-ta-bi  "Thou  art  not  my  mother",  shall 

mu-ut-ta-as-su  u-gal-bu-ma  his  forehead  they  shall  brand,' 

a-la-am  u-za-ah-ha-ru-su  in  the  city  they  shall  belittle  him, 

u  i-na  bit  u-se-su-su  and  from  the  house  they  cause 

him  to  go  out. 

On  a  legal  fragment  of  the  Yale  collection  are  found  two  laws 
of  a  similar  nature.*  One  declares  that  if  a  child  repudiate  his 
parents,  he  shall  leave  the  house  and  the  neighborhood,  but 
his  father  must  first  give  him  his  full  share  of  the  estate.  The 
other  declares  that  if  the  parents  repudiate  the  child,  he  shall 
go  forth  from  the  city.  3  The  same  principle  of  punishment 
holds  in  the  case  of  the  adoption  of  a  woman,  who  proving 
disloyal,  was  made  an  amat.^  But  a  son  who  had  been  disin- 
herited might  be  adopted  by  another.s 

The  Hammurapi  Code  allowed  the  child  a  trial  before  disin- 
heritance could  be  brought  about,  and  if  found  guiltless,  the 
father  could  not  cast  him  off,  §  1 68.  If  the  child  had  com- 
mitted a  crime,  he  could  be  pardoned  for  first  offense,  but  at 
second  offense  could  be  cut  off  from  sonship,  §  169.  But  if 
the  rebellious  son  were  adopted,  he  was  cut  off  and  returned 
to  the  house  of  his  real  parents,  §  186.  Should  this  rebellious 
adopted  son  be  that  of  a  special  class  of  society,  the  NER- 
SE-GA  or  zinnisti  zikru,^  they  must  cut  out  his  tongue  8  192; 
if  he  hated  his  adopted  father  and  mother  because  he  had 
discovered  his  real  parentage,  they  must  pluck  out  his  eye, 
§  193.  An  adopted  son  was  protected  by  the  law;  an  artisan 
who  had  adopted  a  son  as  an  apprentice,  must  teach  him  his 
craft  §§  188 — 9;  a  man  must  reckon  the  young  adopted  son 
among   his  own  sons  S  IQOJ   a  man  who  had  taken  a  young 

I  Cf.  discussion  pp.  83 — 85. 

a  YBT  Vol.  I,  No.  28,  Laws  4  and  5. 

3  Cf.  Schorr  9.  4  OLZ  IX  534. 

5  YBT  Vol.  n,  No.  50. 

6  See  Discussion  pp.  70 — 78. 


-     52    — 

child  to  rear,  and  who  later  acquired  sons  of  his  own,  might 
not  cut  him  off,  he  must  give  him  one  third  of  the  portion 
of  a  son,  but  no  real  estate,  S  ^P^- 

A  man  had  the  right  to  sell  his  wife  or  son  for  debt.  In  the 
First  Dynasty,  he  could  sell  his  daughter  as  a  common  slave,^ 
though  it  is  doubtful  whether  he  could  actually  sell  his  son  as 
a  slave.  While  the  son  was  bound  out  in  service  however, 
his  life  was  probably  the  same  as  that  of  an  ordinary  slave; 
his  services  were  estimated  at  the  rate  of  a  slave.  A  man 
could  dispose  of  his  son  as  profit  to  his  creditor  for  a  maxi- 
mum of  three  years,  §  117,  or  could  conclude  an  arrangement 
to  have  his  son's  services  used  by  creditors.'  In  the  later  time 
a  man  could  give  his  wife  for  debt,3  but  in  this  case  she  ser- 
ved as  an  amtu  who  was  a  concubine.-*  A  daughter  could  be 
sold  by  her  mother,  s 

As  has  been  indicated,  the  marriage  dowry  constituted  the 
chief  article  of  inheritance.  A  woman's  dowry  belonged  to 
her  children,  §§  162,  171;  if  she  were  childless,  and  the  father- 
in-law  returned  to  the  husband  the  marriage  settlement,  tir- 
hatam,  the  woman's  dowry,  seriktu,  belonged  to  the  house  of 
her  father,  §  163.  If  a  woman's  husband  had  not  given  her 
a  gift,  she  received  her  dowry  and  a  portion  of  her  husband's 
estate  equal  to  that  of  a  son,  §  172.  Her  children,  after  the 
death  of  their  father,  could  not  claim  any  property  he  might 
have  legally  given  her;  she  could  will  such  property  to  a  child, 
but  not  to  her  brother,  %i^o.  A  favorite  son  could  inherit  not 
only  what  his  father  had  given  him,  but  also,  at  the  division 
of  the  estate,  an  equal  amount  with  his  brothers,  S  ^^S-  ^^  ^^^ 
case  of  a  man  who  had  had  two  wives,  each  of  whom  had 
borne  children,  the  children  received  the  dowries  of  their  re- 
spective mothers,  and  an  equal  division  of  their  father's  estate, 
§  167.  The  children  of  a  maid,  if  recognized  by  the  father  as 
sons,  inherited  equally  with  the  wife's  children  S  ^/O;  if  the 
children  had  not  been  recognized  by  the  father,  they  did  not 
share  with  the  children  of  the  wife,  but  they  and  their  mother 
were  given  their  freedom,  S  ^7i-  ^^  ^  widow  left  the  house  of 
her  first  husband,  and  bore  children  to  a  second  husband,   at 

I  RA  VIII  12.  2  CT  IV  22^.  3  Nabonidus  655. 

4  See  RA  XII,  84ff.  &  CT  VIII  22^^.  S  RA  VIH  19. 

—    53    — 

her  death  the  children  of  each  shared  her  dowry,  §  173,  but  if 
she  did  not  bear  children  to  her  second  husband,  the  children 
of  the  first  received  her  dowry,  §  174.  It  is  of  interest  to  note 
that  if  a  slave  of  the  palace  or  a  freeman  married  the  daughter 
of  a  patrician,  the  children  might  not  be  claimed  for  service 
by  the  owner  of  the  slave,  S  ^75-  The  children  received  the 
social  status  of  the  mother  rather  than  of  the  father. 

The  late  Babylonian  laws  have  also  reference  to  inheritance. 
Law  D^  provided  that  if  a  widower  who  had  a  married  son 
should  marry  again,  and  his  second  wife  should  bear  children, 
the  sons  of  the  second  wife  received  a  third  of  his  property 
remaining.  Law  K  provided  that  on  the  death  of  a  man  who 
had  married  twice  and  had  children  by  both  marriages,  the 
children  of  the  first  wife  could  take  two  thirds  of  the  goods  of 
the  father's  house,  and  the  children  of  the  second  wife  could 
take  one  third.  This  law  is  inferior  to  Code  $16^  which  allows 
the  children  the  dowries  of  their  respective  mothers,  and  an 
equal  division  of  the  father's  estate.  Law  F  is  analogous  to 
Code  $16^. 

Several  groups  are  worthy  of  special  discussion,  and  of  them 
none  is  more  important  than  that  of  women.  The  appearance 
of  women  in  public  life  is  one  of  the  most  unique  features  of 
Sumerian  and  Akkadian  society.  There  are  no  traces  of  the 
custom  of  keeping  women  in  entire  seclusion,  in  the  oriental 
sense.  This  was  true  also  of  women  of  the  royal  family.  Even 
in  the  early  period  they  are  found  in  official  positions.  Sargon  I 
in  the  26th  year  of  his  reign  appointed  his  daughter  to  be 
"lady"  of  the  Elamite  region  of  Marharshi.^  In  documents  of 
the  seventh  century  are  found  references  to  the  office  of 
sakintu^  which  was,  on  analogy  with  the  saknu^  that  of  del- 
egate or  deputy,  possibly  parallel  to  the  Persian  satrap,^  an 
office  probably  dependent  on  the  king's  will.  The  sakinti  were 
doubtless  women  of  royal  rank.  A  woman  appears  as  a  may- 
oress of  a  small  district,*  as  judge,5  and  as  scribe.^ 

I  Peiser:  Sitzungsherichte  der  Koniglich  Preussischen  Akademie  der  Wissen- 
schaften  1889  Pt.  2  826.  2  King  Hist.  Sumer  286. 

3  ADD  II  SS  ^79»  180  gives  list  of  occurrences  of  this  term  in  Assyrian 
documents  treated.  4  ADD  No.  232. 

5  CT  VIII  28^.     Cf.  Jastrow,  Civilization  346. 

6  K.  1473,  Cf.  ADD  II  S  153. 

"     54    - 

Not  only  the  women  of  nobility  had  freedom,  but  the  aver- 
age woman  was  free  to  enter  industry,  could  contract  legally, 
and  negotiate  all  kinds  of  business  transactions.^  The  SAL 
ME,  a  type  of  votary,  was  very  active  in  buying  and  selling 
real  estate,  and  lending  money.*  Women  possessed  large 
estates,  they  could  act  as  sellers  for  their  husbands  in  their 
absence,  but  do  not  appear  in  court  apart  from  their  hus- 
bands.^ It  is  probable,  as  shown  in  a  document  from  the  time 
of  Ammi-ditana,  that  a  married  woman  could  not  appear  in 
court  alone,  but  that  in  case  she  was  summoned  or  was  the 
initiator  of  a  suit,  her  husband  must  appear  in  her  stead.*  If 
this  were  true,  by  her  marriage  she  lost,  in  part,  her  legal  identity. 
On  the  other  hand  we  find  a  document  interpreted  by  Oppert 
to  record  the  case  of  a  woman  who  became  legal  guardian  of 
her  husband.5  That  she  could  enter  into  all  kinds  of  business 
relations  has  been  shown  above,^  and  her  name  was  as  good 
as  that  of  a  man,  when  attached  to  a  pledge  or  note.7 

The  ennumeration  of  all  the  industrial  capacities  in  which 
women  served,  would  involve  a  detailed  study  of  the  economic 
life;  we  find  women  as  millers,^  weavers,^  messengers, '°  and 
stenographers  (?)."  The  keeping  of  public  beer  houses  was 
evidently  an  occupation  exclusively  of  women  of  the  lower 

A  class  of  women  which  must  be  considered  in  any  dis- 
cussion of  Babylonian  and  Assyrian  morals  is  that  to  which 
the  general  term  "votary"  may  be  tentatively  applied.  The 
exact  interpretation  of  the  functions  of  these  women  is  involv- 
ed in  considerable  difficulty.  There  are  fourteen  sections  in 
the  Hammurapi  Code  which  have  been  interpreted  as  applying 

1  For  late  period  cf.  BA  IV  (i)  pp.  1—77. 

2  See  discussion  p.  60  note  4. 

3  ADD  II  §  106.  4  RA  VII  129—138. 
5  ZA  III  17.                  6  pp.  34—45- 

7  Cf.  J.  P.  Morgan  I  No.  29. 

8  Amherst  Tablets  151. 

9  Thureau-Dangin,  Invent,  de  Tello  II  (l)  790,  794- 

10  PSBA  XXXIII  121  f.  ZA  XIX  384. 

"  SAL-DUP-SARj  CT  VI  46  cf.  Lindl  p.  19  and  passim. 
12  Code  S  110;    MAP  No.  35.    Smith  Miscellaneous  Texts  Sm.  526,15.    PSBA 
XXXVI  104. 

—    55    — 

to  such  women,^  and  within  these  sections  a  number  of  classes 
of  votaries  appear  to  be  mentioned;  the  SAL  ME,  the  SAL 
ME  NIN-AN,  the  zm7iistu  zikru,  the  SAL  E-GE-A,  the  SAL 
ME  NU-GIG,  the  NU-BAR,  and  the  SAL  ME  ilu  Marduk.  It 
will  be  noted  that  the  sign  ^— f-  occurs  either  separately  or 
in  composition  eleven  times  in  these  fourteen  laws.*  In  the 
instances  in  which  it  appears  alone,  it  has  been  interpreted  as 
"votary"^  and  as  "wife"*.  The  sign  appears  to  be  composed 
of  ^  the  feminine  determinative  and  >f-,  MAS,  or  |i=— ,  ME; 
in  either  case  it  may  mean  a  consecrated  woman  or  priestess. 
As  will  be  observed  later,  in  the  legal  documents  in  the  Hammu- 
rapi  script,  the  sign  is  frequently  written  so  that  its  identification 
with  ME  seems  the  more  probable.  The  transliteration  of  ^-f- 
as  assatu  has  no  foundation  in  the  syllabaries,  though  it  is  em- 
ployed by  a  number  of  scholars.s  A  syllabar  text  (VAT  9558) 
would  seem  to  Landsberger  to  establish  for  SAL  ME  the 
reading  naditu  or  natitu\^  while  we  may  recognize  this  as 
possibly  correct,  because  the  text  is  fragmentary,  we  shall  in 
referring  to  this  class  employ  the  transliteration  SAL  ME 
throughout  this  discussion.  Meissner  was  the  first  to  point 
out  the  existence  of  this  class  of  women,  whom  he  regarded  as 
priestesses  of  Samas.7  In  g§  no,  178,  179,  the  sign  is  used  in 
connection  with  NIN  AN  which  may  be  read  e7itu}  Dhorme9 
identifies  this  type  of  votary  as  a  high  priestess:  *'De  meme 
que  le  personage  enu  est  en  tete  du  sacerdoce,  le  pretresse 
entu  (bab.  entum)  est  la  premiere  d'entre  les  femmes  sacrees". 
NIN  AN  has  been  variously  transliterated  and  translated,  so 
Harper  *°  reads  NIN  AN  and  translates  "priestess",  Ungnad" 
reads  entum  and  translates  "Hierodule";  Barton"  translates  ''wife 
of  a  god";    Lyon '3  translates  "sister  of  a  god".    In  %i\o  the 

»  §S  40,  110,  127,  137,  144—147,  178,  179,  180,  181,  182,  192,  193. 

2  SS  40,  110,  137,  144—146,  178,  179,  180,  181,  182. 

3  So  Lyon,  Barton.  4  So  Scheil,  Harper,  Kohler  and  Peiser,  etc. 

5  So  Scheil,  D61.  IV  p.  56  n.  i;  Ham.  Laws.  SS  137»  144— 146;   Rogers, 
Cun.  Par.  to  0.  T.  pp.  429,  431,  etc.;  KU  II  50,  52. 

6  ZDMG  LXIX  506.  7  MAP  p.  11 1. 

8  Br.  10997;  cf.  also  KB  VI  (i)  439- 

9  RA  XI  106.  »o  Ham.  Laws.  p.  ST,  45,  etc. 

"  KU  II  46  etc.;  I  Z1  etc,  «  Arch.  &  Bib.  322  etc. 

13  Toy  Vol.  347. 

-     56    - 

sign  ^-f-  appears  before  the  NIN  AN,  and  in  §§  178,  179 
after  it.  Jastrow'  considers  the  NIN  AN  or  SAL  NIN  AN  as 
in  the  service  of  the  god,  hence,  a  sacred  prostitute,  and  the 
NIN  AN  SAL  as  in  the  service  of  a  goddess  and  therefore 
allowed  to  marry.  Such  a  distinction,  based  evidently  on  the 
order,  is  artificial;  Sumerian  was  certainly  not  precise  in  the 
order  of  signs.  Scheil^  held  that  the  SAL  and  the  NIN  AN 
represented  the  same  class  of  persons.  Barton,  Lyon,  and 
Ungnad  interpret  the  sign  ^»-f—  as  referring  to  a  separate 
class  from  the  NIN  AN,  and  hence  translate:  "If  the  wife  of 
a  god,  priestess,"  etc;^  *Wenn  eine  Hierodule,  Priesterin,"  etc* 
NIN  AN  appears  without  ^— |—  accompanying  it,  in  §  127. 
There  is  therefore  the  possibility  that  this  sign  when  used  in 
composition  is  a  determinative  of  office. 

The  ziftnistmn  zi-ik-ru-imi^  has  been  interpreted:  Harper^ 
"devotee";  Ungnad, 7  "Hure";  Scheil,^  "femme  publique"; 
Winkler,9  "Buhldirne";  "Cook,^°  "courtesan";  Dhorme,"  "femme- 
male";  Barton,"  "sacred  harlot"  —  according  as  zi-ik-ru-nm 
has  been  identified  with  zikaru,  "to  name",  or  zikaru,  "male".^^ 

The  SAL  E-GE-A  may  be  transliterated  kallatnn,^''  "bride", 
and  is  menioned  only  in  §  180.  Here  again,  various  inter- 
pretations have  been  offered:  Scheil,^5  transliterates  kallatim, 
and  translates  "bride";  Ungnad, ^^  transliterates  ishppat  ij) gagim, 
and  translates,  "eine  Priesterin";  Barton,' 7  translates  ''a  priestess 
living  in  the  appointed  house".  The  expression  MAL-GE-A 
appears  in  §  iio;  in  Harper's  edition  of  the  Code,  no  trans- 
lation for  the  group  of  signs  is  offered,  but  in  subsequent 
notes'^  he  considers  MAL  a  scribal  error  for  E.  Winckler  and 
Miiller  translate  "Frauenhaus",  and  Peiser'9^  "Harem". 

I  AJSL  XXXVI  (I)  30,  n.  50.  2  D61.  IV  ^7  n.  e.  (1). 
3  Arch.  &  Bib.  331.                   4  KU  I  54. 

5  S§  178,  179,  180,  187,  192,  193.  6  Ham.  Laws  p.  65  etc. 

7  KU  I  p.  53.  8  La  loi  de  Ham.  2nd  ed.  p.  38. 

9  Die  Gesetze  Ham.  p.  52  ff. 
^o  Laws  of  Moses  and  Code  of  Ham.  p.  148. 

II  La  Religion  Assyro-Bab.  p.  300.  12  Arch.  &  Bib.  p.  331. 

13  KU  I  p.  53  n.  3    "oder  ist   awilat  zikru  etwa  als  Zwitter  zu  verstehen?" 
of.  also  Del.  IV  p.  87  n.  2  —  "femelle  du  male". 

M  M  4459.  ^5  Da  IV  p.  89.  16  KU  I  54;  II  69. 

17  Arch.  &  Bib.  p.  331  18  AJSL  XXII  15.  ^9  KU  I  32. 

—    57    - 

SAL  ME  NU  GIG,  §  i8i,  may  be  transliterated  kadistii,^ 
"temple  prostitute".  =  It  has  been  translated  by  Rogers  and 
Harper  as  "votary",  by  Barton,  "sacred  harlot",  by  Johns, 
"temple  maid",  by  Ungnad,  "eine  Priesterin,  Dime  (?)".  Dhorme^ 
considers  the  kadistu  a  prostitute,  identifying  her  and  the  zer- 
niasitii  with  the  istaritu,  Kadistu  is  connected  with  the  root 
tS^lp,  which  is  used  in  Deut.  23  1 8,  a  law  against  sacred  prosti- 
tutes, male  and  female.* 

In  g  181  NU  BAR,5  may  be  transliterated  ^^;';;2^i'//^w,^  "one 
that  throws  away  seed".  Harper,^  leaves  the  term  untranslated; 
Barton^  translates  ''temple  maid";  Johns, 9  "virgin";  Rogers ^° 
"hierodule";  Ungnad"  "Templemadchen";  with  the  suggestion 
of  the  possibility  of  "Jungfrau";  Scheil"  "la  petiti";  while  Jastrow^3 
interprets  it  as  one  who  vows  herself  to  chastity. 

These  in  brief  are  the  classes  of  vowed  women  provided 
for  by  the  Hammurapi  Code:  the  SAL  ME,  the  SAL  ME 
NIN  AN,  the  zinnistu  zikru,  the  kadistam,  and  the  zerniasitani. 
Before  attempting  to  decide  what,  if  any,  distinction  existed 
between  them,  it  is  necessary  to  compare  the  sections  of  the 
Code  which  mention  them. 

§  40  has  been  interpreted  by  some  scholars  to  have  no  re- 
ference to  a  votary.  The  first  sign,  Stele  Col.  XII 1.  39,  is  read 
asm  by  Scheil,  translated  as  a  preposition,  "pour",  and  inter- 
preted as  a  pun!^'^  Peiser  regards  the  sign  as  used  for  summa.^^ 
Daiches  holds  that  the  meaning  "votary"  is  improbable.^^  If 
the  sign  of  the  original  inscription  is  ^>— |—  as  Scheil  and 
Harper  read  it,  in  the  light  of  our  knowledge  of  business  trans- 
actions into  which  a  SAL  ME  entered,  instances  of  which  are 
very  numerous,^ 7  it  does  not  seem  improbable  that  §  40  ap- 
plied to  the  SAL  ME  class. 

1  B.  2017.    See  also  K  B  VI  (i)  439- 

2  MA  910  (a).  3  RA  XI  107. 

4  Cf.  Gen.  3821.2;  Hos.  4  H.  S  ZA  XXIV  345. 

6  M  1147;  cf.  MA  297  (a).  7  Ham.  Laws  p.  69. 

8  Arch.  &  Bib.  331.  9  Johns  Bab.  &  Ass.  p.  60. 

xo  Cun.  Par.  to  O.  T.  p.  442. 

"  KU  I  55,  and  n.  2. 

12  D^l.  IV  87.  13  JAOS  XXXVI  30,  n.  51. 

M  D61.  IV  37  n.  3.  IS  KU  I  20. 

16  ZA  XVIII  206.  »7  See  note  4  p.  60. 

-     58    - 

S§  I37>  ^44 — 7  h^ye  been  construed  as  applying  to  a  regular 
wife.  If  the  sign  ^-|-  is  read  assatam,  it  must  be  noted, 
that  assatam  occurs  in  the  Code  phonetically  written  thirty- 
three  times,  and  in  all  of  these  instances,  it  clearly  means 
*'wife".  Of  the  eleven  cases  in  which  ^-|—  is  used,  seven 
apply  to  a  vowed  woman:  gg  40,  no,  178,  179,  180,  181,  182. 
There  is  a  possibility  therefore,  that  had  assatam  been  intended, 
it  would  have  been  written  phonetically.  Luckenbill*  bases  an 
argument  for  the  reading  assatam  upon  the  new  versions  of 
portions  of  the  Code,  published  by  Langdon'  and  Poebel,^ 
which  he  believes  use  the  sign  DAM  {=assatu)  instead  of 
SAL  ME.  He  notes  that  Langdon  himself  is  doubtful  whether 
his  copy  is  correct,  but  considers  the  appearance  of  the  sign 
in  PoebePs  text  as  conclusive  proof  that  Langdon's  copy  is 
correct  and  this  group  of  laws  refers  to  the  regular  wife.  An 
examination  of  Poebel's  text,  however,  renders  this  conclusion 
precarious;  the  tablet  appears  to  be  considerably  worn  away, 
the  traces  of  the  sign  as  indicated  by  Poebel  are  quite  insuf- 
ficient to  establish  any  proof.  The  sign  might  equally  well  be 
NIN.  But  if  the  sign  intended  is  DAM,  in  recognition  of  the 
variant  script  of  the  Hammurapi  period,  there  is  the  possibility 
that  DAM  was  substituted  for  the  SAL  ME  of  the  stele  text; 
we  have  a  strong  analogy  in  the  exchange  of  SAL  and  SAL 
ME  in  the  business  documents.^  Some  regulation  dealing 
with  a  man's  right  to  take  a  concubine,  would,  however,  be 

The  interpretation  of  sal^ugetim  of  §g  137,  144 — 7,  as  con- 
^  cubine  has  for  a  long  time  been  held,  and  its  possible  identi- 
fication by  dissimilation  with  hl^  advocated.5  It  has  likewise 
been  considered  to  be  connected  with  sanu.^  Whether  it  is  to 
be  read  sarratum,  is  questioned.^  Peiser  has  noted  ^  that  §  146 
and  148  of  the  Code  are  parallel  in  that  they  provide  for  the 
securing  of  offspring.  In  §  146  the  term  ^(^^  su-ge-tim  is  used, 
and  in  §  148,  sa-ni-tim\  %  \6f6  concerns  the  married  SAL  ME, 

1  AJSL  XXXIV  2fr.  2  BE  (A)  XXXI  No.  22,  Obv.,  Col.  i. 

3  BE  V  No.  93.    Col.  10. 

4  See  note  4  p.  60.  5  ZA  XV  396;  OLZ  VII  171. 

6  Br.  7132,  M  5124.     Delitzsch,  Sumerisches  Glossar  S.  loo. 

7  KU  II  S.  168.  8  OLZ  XVIII  ^Z. 

-    59    — 

S  148  the  as-sa-tam.  Landsberger  ^  has  tried  to  show  that  the 
sugetim  was  a  secondary  priestess  who  bore  children  for  the  SAL 
ME.  Such  an  interpretation,  besides  explaining  the  frequently 
mentioned  document  recording  the  marriage  of  two  sisters  to 
one  man,^  makes  more  intelligible  §  183,  184  of  the  Code.  These 
laws  immediately  follow  those  dealing  with  the  dowry  of  pries- 
tesses of  various  classes.  If  we  accept  this  interpretation  of  hige- 
tim,  we  have  only  one  law  in  the  Code  relating  to  an  ordinary 
concubine,  §  148,  —  a  law  making  concubinage  legal  in  case  of 
illness  of  the  wife.  Now  if  we  assume  that  §§  137,  144 — 7  applies 
to  the  SAL  ME,  this  type  of  votary  might  marry  and  have 
children.  Lyon  believes  that,  with  the  possible  exception  of  the 
zinnistu  zikru,  no  votary  bore  children.  3  The  word  aladu  is  never 
applied  to  her,  though  used  about  twenty  times  in  the  Code  with 
reference  to  the  regular  wife,  sugetim^  and  widow  who  married 
again.  The  votary  "causes  her  husband  to  have  children",  i  e, 
usarsi,  ustabsL  This  distinction  is  particularly  striking  in  §  137. 
Lyon  therefore  concludes  that  the  votary  wife  was  barren,  and 
that  her  marriage  was  late  in  life.  In  this  connection  we  may 
note  in  a  bilingual  religious  text  from  A§Sur,  published  by  Ebe- 
ling'^  and  translated  by  Maynard,5  the  verbs  aladu  and  usarsu 
The  words  are  used  in  a  manner  that  would  indicate  that  the 
writer  considered  them  synonymous.  The  incantation  is  ad- 
dressed to  Enlil;   the  Akkadian  of  the  line  in  question  reads: 

sa  a-na  ha-i-ri-ia  zd-du-su  u-sar-bu-su ,  "by  whom  (ie.  Enlil) 

for  my  husband  I  have  borne  him,  I  have  brought  him ." 

The  Sumerian  of  the  line  has  only  the  verb  tii-ud-ba-an-ta. 
The  tddtisu  usarbum  represents  a  double  translation  of  the 
single  Sumerian  verb.  The  distinction  between  the  two  verbs 
which  Lyon  so  strongly  urges  is  not  entirely  unquestionable. 

A  document  from  the  time  of  Sam§i-iluna  records  the 
marriage  of  a  SAL  ^^«  Samas.^  Another,  of  the  1st  dynasty  7 
gives  an  account  of  the  dowry  of  a  SAL  Marduk  u  zennasitam 
who  is  to  marry  the  son  of  a  priest  of  Ishtar;  it  states  that 
for   all  time  her  children  shall  be  her  heirs  (?).  This  does  not 

1  ZA  XXX  68.  2  KU  2,  3.  3  Toy  Vol.  351. 

4  Keilschrifttexte  aus  Assur:  Religiosen  Inhalts,  No.  14  Obv.  Col.  I  8- 

5  AJSL  XXXIV  37—39.  6  MAP  No.  90. 
7  BE  (A)  VI  (I)  No.  84. 

—    6o    — 

prove  that  they  were  children  whom  she  had  borne;  these 
documents  only  show  that  these  women  married,  and  present 
the  possibility  that  they  bore  children.  The  suggestion  of 
Johns  ^  that  a  votary,  though  married,  must  keep  a  vow  of 
virginity,  seems  untenable.  But  we  know  that  they  sometimes 
adopted  children;*  and  in  one  case^  a  SAL  ME  gave  her  son 
to  a  married  couple  as  foster-child,  the  penalties  for  the  re- 
pudiation of  his  foster  parents  being  enumerated. 

The  SAL  ME  were  free  to  enter  into  all  kinds  of  business 
relations,  as  an  examination  of  the  contract  tablets  shows.  The 
tablets  are  largely  concerned  with  the  business  interests  of  the 
SAL  or  SAL  ME  of  Samas,  though  there  are  some  which 
relate  to  votaries  dedicated  to  other  gods.  We  find  ^^^ 
»f  ^1  (SAL  il^  Santas)  quite  as  often  as  ^Hf-  »f  ^]  (SAL 
ME  i^^  Samas).  It  is  obvious  that  the  two  terms  are  used 
interchangeably,  as  the  occasional  appearance  of  both  expres- 
sions on  the  same  tablet  referring  to  the  same  priestess,  indi- 
cates. The  irregularity  of  the  Hammurapi  script  often  makes 
it  impossible  to  distinguish  which  was  intended.  A  classified 
list  serves  to  illustrate  the  diversity  of  interests  of  these  women.  * 

t  Johns   Bab.   &  Ass.   p.   137;    Hastings   Bib.  Diet.  V  591.     Cf.    also  King 
Hist.  Bab.  p.  187.  and  Mercer  JSOR  II  58. 

2  CT  VIII  5a;    Schorr  p.  35:  CT  11  41;    Schorr  p.  36 

3  BE  (A)  VI  (I)  No.  17. 

BE  (A)  VI  (i)  No.  17. 

BE  (A)  VI  (1)  No.  96. 

CT  II.  41  Schorr  No.  19. 

CT  VIII.  5  a  Schorr  No.  18. 

CT  rV  22  b  Schorr  No.  198  A. 

TD  185  Schorr  No.  201. 

TD  73  Schorr  No.  1 13  (Land). 

CT  VIII  22  a  Schorr  No.  114  (    „     ). 


P.  70                                Schorr  ABR  III  27  (Real  Estate) 

VS  VIII  33-34                                               (   „  „    ) 

CT  VI  21  c                      Schorr  No.  213          (    „  „    ) 

CT  VIII  20  a                    Schorr  No.  215          (    „  „    ) 

—    6i     — 

The  NIN  AN  or  entti  was  not  permitted  to  conduct  or  even 
enter  a  wine   shop,  S  ^^OJ   she  was  protected  from  slander  as 

VS  VIII  3 

Schorr  No.  213  (Real  Estate) 

BE  (A)  VI  (2)  70 

Schorr  No.  206  (    „          „     ) 

TD  90 

Schorr  No.  214  (Slave) 

VS  VIII  33-34 

Schorr  No.  216  (    „    ) 

CT  VIII  48  a 

Schorr  No.     27  (    „    ) 

CT  Vm  291  c 

Lindl  p.  24          (    „    ) 


MAP  No.  (i%  PI.  32                                    (House) 

MAP  No.  88  p.  59 

(     »     ) 

MAP  No.  70 

(     »     ) 

BE  (A)  VI  (1)  z^ 

(     »     ) 

MAP  No.  73 


MAP  No.  74 

(    »    ) 

VS  IX  157 

(    »    ) 


MAP  No.  105 

MAP  No.  Ill 

TD  98—99 

Schorr  No.  186 

VS  IX  130 

Schorr  No.  187 

VS  IX  I44-I4S 

Schorr  No.  188 

VS  IX  216 


CT  VI  7  a 

Schorr  No.  297  (Plaintiflf) 

CT  VIII  6  b 

Schorr  No.  268  (      „      ) 

CT  II  45 

Schorr  No.  278  (      „      ) 

CT  VIII  12  b 

Schorr  No.  260  (      „      ) 

AO  5429 

Schorr  No.  317  (Defendant) 

CT   VI  6 

Schorr  No.  281  (        „        ) 


TD  82—83 

Schorr  No.  107  (Bricks) 

VS  IX  173 

Schorr  No.  68    (Com) 

CT  VIII  33  b 

Schorr  No.  48     (    „    ) 

VS  VIII  93-94 

Schorr  No.  45     (    „    ) 

MAP  No.  22 

(    »    ) 

MAP  No.  24 

(    »    ) 

CT  IV  20  c 

Schorr  No.  io8  (Onions) 

BE  (A)  VI  (I)  No. 

38                                (Money) 

CT  VIII  24  b 

Schorr  No.  267  (     „     ) 

VS  VIII  47—48 

Schorr  No.  49     (     „     ) 

MAP  No.  12 

(     »     ) 

MAP  No.  13 

(     »     ) 

VAT  1474  A-B 

(     »     ) 

—      62      — 

was  the  legal  wife,  §  127  (it  is  to  be  noted  that  there  was  no 
such  provision  made  for  the  kadistu^  sermasitu-,  or  zikru.)    If 


BE  (A)  VI  (I)  74. 


CT  VI  7b 

Lindl  p.  22 


CT  11  17 

Lindl  p.  23 

(    „    ) 

CT  IV  44  b 

AJSL  XXX  181 

(    »    ) 

CT  IV  19  b 

AJSL  XXX  193  (    „    ) 

CT  II  3 

AJSL  XXX  170  (   „    ) 

CT  II  5 

AJSL  XXX  191  (    „    ) 

CT  II  7 

AJSL  XXX  183  (    „   ) 

CT  II  42 

AJSL  XXX  187  (Orchard) 

CT  VI  48  b 

Schorr  No.  65 


BE  (A)  VI  (I)  No. 


CT  IV  so  a 

KU  III  380 

CT  VIII  23  c 

KU  III  389 

CT  VIII  25  b 

Schorr  No.  96 

BE  (A)  VI  (I)  No 

61     Schorr  No.  95  A 

CT  IV  20  a 

AJSL  XXX  177  (House) 

VS  VIII  58 

Schorr  No.  87 

(       M       ) 

BE  (A)  VI  (I)  No. 

105    Schorr  No.  92 

(     .,     ) 

TD  75 

Schorr  No.  88 

(     „     ) 

CT  II  26 

AJSL  XXX  178  (    „    ) 

MAP  No.  31 

(     »     ) 

MAP  No.  40 


(     »     ) 

BE  (A)  VI  (I)  33a 

BE  (A)  VI  (I)  35 


TD  106 

Schorr  No.  143 

(    »    ) 

BE  (A)  VI  (1)  51 


BE  (A)  VI  (1)  5 


CT  VIII  40  b 

Schorr  No.  118 

(    »    ) 

CT  VIII  17  b 

Schorr  No.  121 

(    »    ) 

BE  (A)  VI  (1)  42 

Schorr  No.  125 

i    >,    ) 

F  II 

Schorr  No.  152 


CT  VI  40  a 

Schorr  No.  153 

(    .    ) 

CT  vin  ISC 

Schorr  No.  154 

(    »    ) 

VS  VIII  99-100 

(    »    ) 

p  13 

(    »    ) 


CT  VIII  49  b 

Schorr  No.  IS 

(SAL  ME  Marduk) 

CT  VIII  6  a 

KU  III  450 

\  >»       >»          »»      / 

CT  IV  lib 

AJSL  XXX  189  (  „       „         „      ) 

BE  (A)  VI  (2)  p.  45 

(  „       „      NINIB) 

-    63    - 

her  father  had  given  her  a  dowry,  and  had  not  in  a  deed  of 
gift  given  her  power  to  will  to  whom  she  please,  her  brothers 
must  give  her  a  rightful  share;  if  they  did  not,  she  might  give 
her  field  to  any  tenant  whom  she  chose,  and  the  tenant  must 
maintain  her.  She  could  not  sell  or  transfer  her  property,  and 
at  her  death  it  belonged  to  her  brothers,  §  178.  But  if  her  father 
had  given  her  power  to  will,  her  brothers  could  not  lay  claim, 
S  179.  If  she  were  dowerless,  she  received  a  son's  share  to 
enjoy  as  long  as  she  lived,  §  180.  The  NIN  AN  was  some- 
times of  royal  family.  An  inscription  in  the  Louvre*  published 
by  Dhorme'  tells  that  Nabonidus,  after  rebuilding  E-SAG-IL 
and  E-ZI-DA,  dedicated  his  daughter  as  priestess,  ana  e-nu-tim, 
and  caused  her  to  enter  into  the  E-GI-PAR.  A  cylinder  of 
Nabonidus  now  in  the  Yale  Collection^  contains  an  account  of 
his  restoration  of  E-GI-PAR,  and  of  the  dedication  of  his 
daughter  as  entu  (NIN  -  AN -R  A).  This  inscription  describes 
the  enttis  function  as  that  of  diviner  (Col.  I  1.  7 — 14  etc.). 
The  E-GI-PAR  is  designated  as  the  archive  of  the  edicts 
of  the  entu  office.  Now  giparu  means  primarily  "a  reed".* 
Dhormes  establishes  the  probability  that  giparu  represented  a 
tree,^  or  group  of  trees,  and  that  E-GI-PAR  meant  a  sanc- 
tuary which  was  a  residence  of  the  entu.  Dhorme  also  main- 
tains that  the  giparu  corresponded  to  the  alleged  hanging 
gardens,  and  that  the  ziggurat  at  Erech  was  called  e-gi-par- 
iminp  as  it  comprised  seven  stages,  each  planted  with  trees. 
Herodutus*  wrote  that  in  the  topmost  tower  of  the  ziggurat 
there  was  a  sanctuary  containing  a  large  couch,  that  a  woman 
passed  the  night  there,  and  that  the  natives  believed  the  god 
came  down  and  slept  upon  the  couch.  In  view  of  this  tradi- 
tion, Dhorme's  interpretion  of  the  E-GI-PAR  is  a  tempting  one. 
The  possibility  is  that  the  E-GI-PAR,  while  it  may  originally 
have  been  a  sanctuary  in  the  sacred  grove  in  the  precincts  of 
the  temple,  was  in  the  large  temples  the  name  applied  to  the 
priestesses  quarters  in  the  ziggurat.  In  the  Yale  cylinder,  Nabo- 
nidus tells  of  repairing  the  wall  over  the  ancient  ma-ai-al  (tna- 

I  Louvre  AO  6444.  *  RA  XI  105  flf. 

3  YBT.,  No.  45.  —  See  also  Rhue  BibUque  1908  p.  130,  which  may  indicate 
that  Nabonidus'  mother  was  an  entu.  4  MA  229  a. 

5  RA  XI  108.  6  Cf.  Jensen  in  KB  VI  304. 

7  M  6709—6710.  8  Bk.  I  S  182. 

-    64    - 

a-a-al),^  which  Clay  translates  "resting  place."'  Jensen 3  identi- 
fies it  with  the  root  ^«i,  "to  rest,"  and  considers  it  equivalent 
to  irsii,  "bed." 

Herodotus  further  states  that  this  priestess  was  chosen  by 
the  god  from  all  the  women  of  the  land.  Jastrow'^  observes 
that  the  Yale  Nabonidus  text  states  that  through  omens  the 
god  showed  that  he  "desired,"  erisu,  the  princess;  the  word 
erisu  is  used  for  "betrothed"  in  the  corresponding  Hebrew  form, 
and  in  Babylonian  is  a  synonym  for  "husband"  (eri§u=l)a'  iru, 
II  R  PI.  36,  39c — d.)  We  have  two  inscriptions  which  give 
details  of  ceremonies  undoubtedly  connected  with  the  customs 
Herodotus  records  in  connection  with  the  ziggurat:  ones  des- 
cribes the  dedication  of  a  couch  for  the  god  Nabu,  who  is 
said  to  enter  the  chamber  on  the  third  day  of  the  month  Aru 
the  other ^  also  records  ceremonies  of  consecrating  a  couch  of 
a  god.  The  first  of  these  inscriptions,  and  the  opening  lines 
of  the  Yale  cylinder  indicate  that  ceremonies  of  this  nature 
took  place  at  a  stated  time.  The  second  inscription  implies 
that  the  priestess  who  officiated  was  a  virgin.  Was  a  different 
entu  chosen  to  represent  the  wife  of  the  god  at  each  festival? 
Was  it  possible  that  her  term  of  office  lasted  only  during  the 
festival?  If  this  was  the  case,  what  became  of  her  afterward?  The 
fact  that  there  are  so  few  references  to  a  NIN-AN  outside  the 
Code  would  argue  rather  for  the  position,  that  she  held  her 
office  as  long  as  she  lived.  Herodotus  states  that  the  priestess 
of  the  chamber  could  not  have  intercourse  with  mortal  man. 
While  it  is  true  that  the  marital  relations  of  the  gods  as  the 
Babylonians  conceived  them,  are  greatly  confused;  because  of 
the  stringent  laws  against  adultery  the  Code  contains,  it  is 
reasonable  to  suppose  there  was  a  feeling  that  only  one  wo- 
man represented  the  chief  wife  of  the  god.  It  may  be  there- 
fore, that  the  NIN  AN  was  the  only  class  of  priestess  of  whom 

1  CoL  II  1.  4.  cf.  same  term  in  Gilgamesh  Fragment  BE  X  (3)  p.  218  1.  22. 
In  connection  with  this  it  is  interesting  to  note  Urukagina  Cone  Col.  IX  1.  lo, 
I  gar  sag-lal-sal,  might  be  interpreted,  "one  bread  for  the  woman  of  the  couch". 

2  YBT  Vol.  I,  p.  67.  3  KB  VI  (i)  p.  409. 

4  AJSL  XXXIII  p.  120. 

5  Harper  Ass.  &  Bab.  Letters  No.  65.    Cf.  Frazer,  Magic  Art  II  130. 

6  K  164,  transliterated  in  BA  II  635. 

-    65    - 

virginity  was  required.  That  a  king  should  dedicate  his  daughter 
as  a  NIN  AN  would  signify  that  it  was  an  office  which  had 
considerable  prestige.' 

The  term  SAL  ME  E-GE-A  (kallatim,  *'bride")  appears  only 
in  §  1 80.  As  the  Sumerian  implies  that  she  was  connected 
with  a  special  house,  this  may  be  a  variant  term  for  the  NIN 
AN  who  lived  in  the  E-GI-PAR.  That  this  is  a  reasonable 
supposition  is  shown  by  the  content  of  §  180.  SS  ^7^>  ^79  ^^^ 
with  the  inheritance  rights  of  the  NIN  AN  and  zinnistu  zikru: 
first,  whose  father  has  given  a  dowry  and  written  a  deed  of 
gift,  but  has  not  given  her  right  to  will;  second,  whose  father 
has  given  a  dowry  and  written  a  deed  of  gift,  and  has  given 
her  right  to  will  to  whom  she  please.  Now  §  180  provides  for 
the  dowerless  SAL  ME  kallatim  or  zinnistu  zikru.  Conse- 
quently if  the  kallatim  is  not  identified  with  the  NIN  AN,  there 
is  no  provision  for  the  dowerless  NIN  AN.  The  term  kallatim 
is  in  the  religious  literature  sometimes  applied  to  Ishtar.*  These 
laws  show  that  the  NIN  AN  could  hold  property:  there  are 
a  few  documents  relating  to  real  estate  of  a  NIN  AN.^ 

The  preceding  discussion  tends  to  establish  the  identity  of 
the  NIN  AN  or  etitu  as  the  high  priestess  who  represented  the 
real  wife  of  the  god,  and  presided  in  the  ziggurat  chamber: 
because  she  was  not  permitted  to  enter  a  wine  shop,  which 
appears  to  have  been  the  rendezvous  of  the  vicious  elements 
of  society 'I  because  she  alone  was  protected  from  slander  as 
was  the  regular  legal  wife;  because  she  was  sometimes  of  royal 
family,  and  her  position  appears  to  have  been  one  of  honor; 

X  For  an  example  of  the  high  position  of  a  votary  in  early  times,  cf.  Meyer's 
and  King's  interpretation  of  the  plaque  of  Urnina;  i  e,  that  the  standing  figure 
facing  Urnina  represents  his  votary  daughter,  and  that  she  is  attended  by  her 
brother  Akurgal  (Meyer,  Sum.  und  San.  p.  79;  King,  Hist,  of  Sumer  and  Akkad, 
p.  115,  116).  This  of  course  gives  no  hint  of  the  type  of  votary  she  was.  In 
connection  with  this  note  also  No.  27  Rev.  1.  i  of  Amherst  Tablets,  which 
designates  an  official  by  calling  him  §ES  NIN  AN,  "brother  of  the  NIN  AN". 
Cf.  also  D61.  IV  608  Col.  n  1.  7  §ES  SAL  ME. 

2  Zimmern.  KAT  3,  432,  3.  As  applied  to  goddess  Ai,  cf.  CT  XXXII 
pi.  1—4,  Col.  I  17,  25;  Col.  XI  12,  32.     In  legal  literature:  VAT  750. 

3  CT  VI  22a — possession  of  a  field;  Thureau-Dangin,  Invent,  de  Tello,p.  15. 
No.  1246,  text  not  pub.  VS  VIII  55;  KU  IV  785,  Schorr  No.  24,  a  Kallatim 
gives  a  slave  to  temple  service. 

4  See  implication  of  S  io9- 


—    66    — 

and  because  we  have  no  inscriptions  which  record  a  NIN  AN 
marrying,  adopting  children,  or  giving  children  for  adoption. 

Johns  writes  in  reference  to  the  votary  class  as  a  whole, 
"nowhere  in  the  code  or  elsewhere  is  there  any  trace  of  the 
evil  reputation  which  Greek  writers  assign  to  these  ladies,  and 
the  translations  which  make  them  prostitutes,  or  unchaste,  are 
not  to  be  accepted.  Greek  influence  may  have  corrupted  their 
morals".  *  It  is  hardly  necessary  to  revert  to  Greek  writers  to 
find  unmistakable  traces,  aside  from  any  we  may  believe  to 
be  in  the  code,  of  prostitution  as  a  part  of  the  religious  prac- 
tices; and  it  is  scarcely  probable  that  by  the  time  of  Herodo- 
tus at  least,  there  had  been  sufficient  Greek  influence  to 
corrupt  the  social  structure  of  Babylonian  society  to  any 
appreciable  degree.  The  worship  of  Ishtar,  who  was  funda- 
mentally the  goddess  of  fertility,  naturally  involved  practices 
which  appear  licentious.  Herodotus,*  Strabo,^  the  writer  of 
the  apocryphal  Jeremiah,  *  and  the  metaphors  used  in  the  Old 
Testament  and  the  statements  made  by  its  prophetical  writers  ,s 
combine  in  testifying  that  not  only  did  such  practices  exist, 
but  that  they  were  prevalent  to  a  late  period.  Whether  the 
assertion  of  Herodotus^  that  every  Babylonian  woman  must 
openly  sacrifice  her  virginity  as  a  religious  rite  is  correct 
cannot  be  proved  from  the  inscriptions.7  Langdon^  believes 
that  "there  is  not  the  least  doubt  but  that  throughout  Sumerian 
and  Babylonian  religion,  these  peoples  were  convinced  that 
immoral  sacrifices  were  demanded  as  an  offering  to  the  Mother 
Goddess  to  secure  her  protection  for  legitimate  birth  and  be- 
getting". 9 

A  study  of  the  religious  literature  shows  that  the  idea  ot 
women  devoted  to  the  gods,  is  a  fundamental  element  in  the 
Ishtar  cult.  Ishtar  herself  is  addressed  as  a  devotee.^*'  In  the 
Gilgamish  Epic,  Eabani,   after   he   has   been   seduced  by  the 

I  Hastings'  Bible  Diet.  V  591.  2  Bk.  I  i8i,  182,  199. 

3  XVI  1  20.  4  Vs.  41—43. 

5  For  ex.  Ezek.  i6i5f.;  Jer.  32;  cf.  also  Ward,  SCWA  p.  196,  fig.  561. 

6  Bk.  I  §  199.  7  BE  X  (2)  p.  195  1.  20 — possible  ref.  to  the  custom. 

8  Tam.  and  Ish.  p.  74. 

9  "Ishtar  as  protector  of  child-bearer",  cf.  RA  IX  7,  Obv.  1.  10. 
10  See  refs.  in  Tam.  and  Ish.  p.  76. 

-    67    - 

divine  harlot  {samhaf),^  Ukhat,  goes  to  the  city  of  Uruk;^ 
a  city  elsewhere  called  "the  dwelling  of  Anu  and  Ishtar,  the 
city  of  kizreti,  ukhati,  and  karmati".^  In  V  R  42  ef,  60 — 5 
(CT.  19,  26)  sacred  priestesses  are  enumerated  as  "ardatum, 
batultimiy  usakku,  harimtu,  an  dicra(rt?),  museniktu^\  Hammu- 
rapi  assumes  that  the  kizreti  were  regular  temple  women, 
when  in  a  letter  addressed  to  a  governor,  he  orders  that  the 
goddesses  of  the  land  of  Emutbal  should  be  brought  to  Ba- 
bylon and  that  the  kizreti  should  follow  after  the  goddesses/ 
The  ukhati  were  undoubtedly  representatives  of  the  same 
character  as  Ukhat  in  the  Epic.  IJarimti  appears  frequently 
in  the  Epic,5  and  is  evidently  synonymous  with  samhat.^  Ininni 
(Ishtar)  is  described  as  ha-ri-im-tum  ra-im-tum,  "loving  cour- 
tesan".7  A  text  published  by  Zimmern^  contains  a  warning 
against  associating  with  the  ha-rim-tUy  is-ta-ri-tu,  or  zer-ma- 
si-tu.^  The  votaries  or  attendants  of  Ishtar  are  commonly 
referred  to  as  the  istarti:  and  Zimmern  identifies  them  with  the 
karimti  and  kadisti.^^  Babylonian  witchcraft  portrays  a  class 
of  harlot  witches  who  enticed  men;  they  are  called,  among 
other  names,  kadistu  and  istaritu.^^  Ininni  is  frequently  desig- 
nated, especially  in  the  Tammuz  songs,  as  the  NU-GIG 
(kadistu)  -AN-NA,  the  "sacred  harlot  of  heaven";"  or  as 

Still  another  term  used  of  the  harlots  or  attendants  of  Ishtar 
is  kar-lil.  Langdon's  Babylonian  Liturgies  ^^  contains  an  incan- 
tation against  the  ki-el  kar-lil  ^-Ininni,  who  haunts  the  streets 
and  entices  her  lover;  she  represents  the  female  personification 
of  lust.    Again,   in   a  fragment  of  a  Tammuz  hymn^s^  we  find 

»  Cf.  Gilgamish  Fragment,  BE  X  (3)  p.  216  Rev.  Col.  I  1.  5,  II  1.  5. 
2  Tab.  I  Col.  IV  1.  7—22.  3  K.  2619  Col.  II  6  (cf.  HWB  41^). 

4  King,  Ham.  Letters  III  p.  8.  5  Tab.  I  Col.  IV  1.  30—33- 

6  Tab.  I  Col.  IV  1.  42,  43;   cf.  BE  X  (3)  p.  216  1.  4,  5  and  p.  213  1.  8,  9. 

7  Reisner  Hymnen  No.  56  1.  48/50;  cf.  Hussey  AJSL  XXIII  p.  149- 

8  ZA  XXIII  p.  367—369:  Frank,  Studien  p.  48.  9  Obv.  1.  20—23. 
«o  BB  p.  39,  40.                  "  Bab.  and  Oriental  Record  VIII  p.  205—209. 

12  BE  (A)  XXXI  No.  14  1.  2;  BL  p.  46  1.  59  (MU  GIG);   BE  X  (2)  No.  475 
1.  2,  p.  185;  No.  6890  Col.  I  1.  2,  p.  192. 
x3  RA  X  (3)  p.  158;  CT  XV  p.  28,  1.  20. 

14  BL  p.  13  1.  2.    Cf.  Mercer's  comment  on  such  passages,  JSOR  I  52. 

15  BE  (A)  XXXI  p.  35  1-  10;  p.  36  1.  17. 


—    68    — 

the  expression  kdr-lil,  and  Inlnni  is  called  the  eri  kdr-lu,  "child- 
begetting  courtesan."  Kdr-lil  is  found  in  a  legal  document 
dating  from  the  time  of  Hammurapi,  which  states  that  a  mother 
devoted  her  adopted  child  as  a  KARA-LIL,  that  she  might 
support  her  fostermother.'  This  demon  of  lust  and  Ininni  are 
referred  to  as  virgins,*  and  the  term  gin'^  ("=  amtu^)  ki-el 
(=  ardatu^)  is  applied  to  Ininni^  as  an  unmarried  maid  who 
is  a  child-begetter.  We  read  of  the  dumu-sag  dmgir-azag-ga 
ki-el  aina  d.Ba-u,  "First-born  son  of  the  holy  goddess,  kiel, 
mother  Bau."7  Kiel  is  also  used  of  Ninlil  in  a  myth  which 
describes  the  courtship  and  marriage  of  Enlil  and  Ninlil.'^  Ninib 
applies  the  name  to  his  spouse.9  A  Tammuz  hymn  refers  to 
the  kiel  of  Ishtar's  city,"  referring  no  doubt  to  the  kizreti, 
ukhati,  harmati,^'^  etc.  These  illustrations  are  perhaps  sufficient" 
to  indicate  that  there  were  unmistakably  bound  up  with  the 
Ishtar  cult,  conceptions  of  the  gods  and  religious  rites,  of  the 
real  nature  of  which  we  have  no  knowledge,  that  are  from  a 
modern  point  of  view  immoral. 

Such  references  as  given  above  do  not  seem  to  Lyon^^  to 
have  any  real  connection  with  the  votaries  provided  for  by  the 
Code.  While  Lyon  admits  that  there  were  excesses  in  connec- 
tion with  the  worship  of  Ishtar  at  Erech,  he  believes  that  we 
have  no  right  to  assume  that  the  kadisti  consecrated  to  other 
deities  were  dedicated  to  licentious  practices.  Ideas  of  the 
social  relationships  of  the  gods  of  any  people  tend  to  reflect 
the  social  institutions  in  existence  at  a  given  time.  A  funda- 
mental Semitic  conception  which  grew  out  of  their  struggle  for 
existence  in  a  nomadic  desert  life,  was  the  worship  of  fertility 

1  BE  (A)  VI  (2)  No.  4;  Schorr  No.  11. 

2  Babylonica  IV  p.  187  f.,  Col.  I  1.  4,  5;  Col.  Ill  passim. 

3  BE  (A)  XXXI  p.  42  1.  15,  16;  cf.  BE  X  (l)  p.  25  1.  12;  Babylonica  VI  p.  52. 

4  B  11135.  S  B  9831. 

6  For  ex.,  Hussey  AJSL  XXIII  p.  169  1,  i6;  Reisner  Hymnen  No.  53.  Also 
BL  p.  83  1.  42;  and  Hilp.  Ann.  Vol.  p.  391  I.  19. 

7  BE  X  (2)  p.  141  1.  7.    Cf.  also  p.  181  1.  30;  p.  184  1.  29. 

8  Barton:  MBI  No.  4  Col.  I  1.  11  and  passim. 

9  AJSL  XXXIV  p.  51  1.  13.  xo  RA  XII  Pt.  I  p.  35  1.  15. 

11  Cf.  p.  63  n.  2. 

12  Cf.  also  Ishtar's  Descent  Ob  v.  1.  78,  Rev.  1.  8;  BE  X  (2)  p.  190  Obv.  1.  5; 
BE  (A)  XXXI  p.  31,  1.  13;  BL  p.  II,  No.  Ill  1.  8. 

13  Toy  Vol.  p.  360. 

-    69    - 

and  the  sources  of  fertility  in  nature  and  in  human  life.'  This 
led  to  the  early  adoption  of  rites,  which  though  innocent  in 
primitive  society,  became,  as  morality  advanced,  a  deterrent 
to  social  purity. 

The  hymns  and  ritual  of  any  religion  portray  its  older  ideals; 
they  are  slow  to  reflect  the  more  advanced  ideas,  or  even  the 
ideals  of  the  mass'*t>f  its  adherents.  Suppose  that  even  before 
the  period  of  Hammurapi,  in  which  time  so  many  of  the  hymns 
were  put  into  writing,  the  conceptions  expressed  in  the  litur- 
gical literature  were  outgrown.  Can  we  suppose  that  the 
Babylonians,  with  their  severe  laws  against  incest  and  adultery, 
would  continue  to  use  in  their  worship  hymns  and  prayers 
which  enunciated  such  crudities,  unless  those  crudities  actually 
received  religious  sanction?  If  they  did  revolt  against  customs 
of  this  nature,  why  did  they  apply  to  their  priestesses  titles 
which  by  their  religious  use  and  etymology  carried  such  a 
connotation?  For  immoral  practices  to  be  a  concomitant  part 
of  a  civilization  which  demanded  strict  moral  relationships  on 
the  part  of  man  and  wife  is  not  unprecedented,  as  the  social 
structure  of  India  to-day  testifies.  If  we  had  only  the  Code 
by  which  to  gain  our  knowledge  of  these  votaries,  or,  if  we 
had  only  the  religious  literature,  it  might  rightly  be  urged  that 
we  have  no  proof  of  customs  approaching  those  mentioned  by 
Herodotus.  But  since  we  have  the  combined  evidence  of  the 
Code,  the  religious  literature,  and  the  business  documents, 
together  with  the  testimony  of  the  apocryphal  epistle  of 
Jeremiah,  and  the  Old  Testament  writers,  we  are  forced  to 
maintain  that  there  existed  in  Babylonian  society  to  a  late 
period,  temple  women  who  were  devoted  to  prostitution. 

The  kadisti  and  zermasiti  of  whom  we  have  found  frequent 
mention  in  religious  literature,  are  mentioned  in  the  Code  only 
in  §  1 8 1,  which  provides  that  if  such  a  woman  is  dowerless, 
she  shall  at  her  father's  death  receive  one- third  of  the  portion 
of  a  son,  which,  at  her  death  belongs  to  her  brothers.*    This 

1  Cf.  Barton,  Semitic  Origins  III. 

2  But  cf.  Smith  Tablet  No.  260  pub.  by  Grant  in  Cuneijorm  Documents  in 
the  Smith  College  Library,  p.  20;  a  kadisiu  is  to  inherit  equally  with  brothers; 
cf.  CT.  VIII  50*;  Schorr  No.  183,  shows  she  could  marry  but  that  dowry  went 
to  her  brothers. 

—    70    — 

should  be  compared  with  §  182  which  allows  the  SAL  ME 
Marduk  a  right  to  will  to  whom  she  may  please;  and  with 
§  180  which  allows  the  dowerless  entu  and  zikru  a  full  son's 
portion.  In  other  words,  the  kadisti  and  zermasiti  have  the 
least  provision  of  any  of  the  votaries  except  the  sugetim. 
Jastrow'  thinks  this  was  because  they  were  well  maintained  by 
the  temple  organization  to  which  they  belonged.  They  are 
not  frequently  mentioned  in  business  documents,  but  we  have 
evidence  that  they  adopted  and  gave  children  for  adoption; 
Iltani*,  a  kadistu,  gave  her  child  to  a  family  to  nurse  because 
she  was  not  able  to  support  the  child.  A  kadistti  of  Adad  in 
the  time  of  SamSu-iluna^  took  a  child  to  nurse  for  three  year's 
but  as  the  mother  was  not  able  to  pay  for  the  food  or 
clothing,  the  child  became  the  adopted  child  of  the  kadistu.'^ 
The  custom  of  giving  a  child  to  the  care  of  others  for  a  few 
years  was  a  common  one  as  §  194  indicates.s 

The  zinnisti  zikru  are  under  the  same  inheritance  laws  as 
the  NIN  AN,  §g  178,  179,  180;  and  their  children  under  the 
same  laws  as  those  of  a  class  of  persons  usually  designated 
as  the  NER-SE-GA  (=  manzaz  panim)  §§  187,  192,  193.  Who 
were  the  NER-SE-GA?  Johns ^  considers  them  body-guards 
of  the  king,  but  regards  NER-SE-GA  as  a  general  title  not 
borne  by  any  one  class  of  persons.  Contract  literature  is  full 
of  references  to  such  a  class  of  officials  of  the  king;  messen- 
gers, and  so  forth.7  Winckler  and  Miiller  translate  "prostitute". 
This  expression  has  been  transliterated  GIR-SE-GAby  Ungnad;^ 
and  Langdon9  and  GIR-SIG-GA  by  Myhrman^°  and  Barton." 
Barton  attaches  to  GIR  the  meaning  "foot","  to  SIG,  "to  pour 

I  Jastrow,  Civilization,  p.  308.  2  yS  VII  16—17;  Schorr  No.  78. 

3  Thureau-Dangin,  TD  No.  146.  4  VS  VII  37;  Schorr  No.  241. 

5  Cf.  Scheil  in  RA  XI  p.  175,  Les  Nourries  en  Babylonie  et  le  S  194  du  Code. 

6  AJSL  XIX  p.  103. 

7  See  refs.  collected  by  Myhrman  BE  (A)  III  (i)  p.  82;  ADD  8  213;  Un- 
gnad,  Bab.  Briefe  p.  337;  King,  Ham.  Lett.  Ill  p.  114  1.  8;  Harper,  Lett.  Nos. 
291  Obv.  14,  540  Obv.  7,  289  Obv.  10,  415,  Rev.  10. 

8  Bab.  Briefe  p.  337.  9  Babylonia  IV  21,  "prostitute". 
10  Ob.  cit. 

"  Article  on  Sodomy  in  Hasting's  Encyclopedia  of  Religion  and  Ethics, 
Vol.  XI. 

12  OBW  40024.  This  sign  Barton  and  others  consider  a  euphemism  {ox pubenda; 
cf.  Is.  7  (20),  Ruth  3  (4,  7). 

—    71    — 

out'V  and  takes  GA  as  the  phonetic  complement.  He  suggests 
that  manzaz  panim  may  not  always  have  meant  "foremost 
place",  but  that  panim  may  have  been  employed  in  the  Hebrew 
sense  of  "presence"  or  "person".  The  GIR-SIG-GA  was,  he 
concludes,  a  male  prostitute  who  probably  represented  the  god 
in  the  ziggurat  chamber.  He  points  out  furthermore,  that  if 
these  persons  were  government  officials  only,  there  is  no  reason 
why  there  should  have  been  irregularity  in  the  birth  of  their 
children,  or  in  the  children  whom  they  adopted,  sufficient  to 
require  a  special  law.  And  why  were  the  children  of  the 
zinnisti  zikru  classed  with  them  if  there  was  not  some  simi- 
larity in  their  social  status? 

The  Babylonian  temple  priesthood  comprised  a  large  troop 
of  men  and  women.  One  might  expect  the  organization  of 
the  temple  of  the  god  to  be  similar  to  the  organization  of  the 
palace  of  the  king  or  other  men  of  royal  family.  Ishtar  is 
represented  as  the  protector  of  the  harem;*  does  this  refer  to 
the  harem  in  general,  or  Ishtar's  own  harem  in  her  temple? 
Raudau  interprets  hymns  §  2  and  3  of  his  Miscellaneous  Col- 
lection 3  to  have  such  a  meaning.  He  believes  that  the  inhab- 
itants of  the  harem  are  the  virgins  consecrated  to  Ishtar 
who  are  referred  to  as  hu  "birds",  or  tu  b^,  "doves".  Their 
habitations  are  bdd-si,  **dove-cotes".  When  the  harem  is 
destroyed  the  "birds  fly  away".*  But  it  is  possible,  since  the 
dove  was  sacred  to  Ishtar,  that  actual  doves  are  referred  to. 
In  the  worship  of  Astarte  of  Eryx  there  was  a  festival  held 
to  celebrate  the  departure  of  the  deity  to  Libya.  Her  depar- 
ture was  indicated  by  the  flight  of  doves,  and  when,  after  nine 
days  the  doves  came  back,  another  feast  was  held  to  cele- 
brate her  return.s  The  worship  of  the  sacred  dove  among  the 
northern  Semites  may  be  of  totem  origin,^  especially  as  the 
worshippers  of  this  deity  would  not  eat  them.7  At  Mecca  we 
find   an   image  of  the  dove  in  the  Ka'ba,   and  sacred  doves 

1  OBW17524. 

2  CT  15,  8,  2.  Cf.  BE  X  (I)  20  1.  14, 15- 

3  Hilp.  Ann.  Vol.  p.  391 — 409,  436 — 444. 

4  Op.  cit.  p.  399  f. 

5  Aelian:  De  Natura  Animalium  IV,  2. 

6  Smith:  Kinship  and  Marriage  p.  196,  220. 

7  Lucian :  XIV.    Xen.  Anabasis  I  4,  9. 

—    72    — 

around  it'  As  there  are  a  great  variety  of  animals  sacred  to 
the  Ishtar  cult,  the  probability  is  that  as  the  Semitic  peoples 
dispersed,  the  kind  of  sacred  animal  worshipped  varied  with 
local  conditions.* 

Whether  the  women  connected  with  the  Ishtar  cult  formed 
a  sacred  harem  or  not,  we  know  there  were  also  connected 
with  the  Ishtar  cult  a  group  of  eunuchs.  In  the  Ira  myth 
we  read: 3 

sa    Uruk  su'bat   ^^«  A-nim  u     i^^     Is-tar 
To  Erech  the  abode  of  Anu  and  Ishtar 

al  ki-iz-ri'ti  u-ha-a-tu   u   ha-rim-a-t(i) 
City  of  the  kizretiy  uhati^  and  harimti 

di-ku'U  I-an-fia  ^  kurgari  ''^  i-stn('ni) 

Were  called  to  Eanna,  the  eunuchs,  eunuch  singers(?) 

sa   ana   sup-lu-uh   nisi  i^^  Istar  zik-ru-su-nit  wti-ni  ana 

SA(L-  US-?/-/^>4 
Who  for  the  terror  of  the  people,  Ishtar  had  turned  their  man- 
hood to  "Mannweiblichkeit" 

na-as    pat-ri     na-as    nag-la-bi    kup-pi-i    u  sur-t(i) 
They  who  bear  the  dagger,  they  who  bear  the  instrument  of 

cutting,  the  sword,  the  stone-knife.s 

The  word  i-sin(-?ti),  "eunuch-singer(?)"  is  assinu  =  UR-SAL^ 
meaning  literally  "female  dog".  ^^D,  ''dog"  is  applied  to  male 
prostitutes  in  Deut.  2319.  A  Tammuz  hymn  has  the  line: 7  kur- 
gar-ra  uru-na-ka  gir  nu  aga-a-na,  "the  eunuchs  of  her  city 
who  wield  the  dagger  no  more(wail)".  CT  XV  44  K  3476 
presents  a  passage  which  undoubtedly  refers  to  their  self- 
mutilation.*   They  are  described  as  9  mkur-ga-ra  pa-lak-ki,  "the 

»  Ibn  Hisham  p.  821;  Wellhausen,  Heidentums  p.  75. 
2  Hebraica  X  73.  3  KB  VI  (I)  62  1.  6— 11. 

4  Op.  cit.,  note  4.  5  Tarn.  &  Ish.  p.  77,  n.  6. 

6  HWB  110^.    In  connection  with  use  of  UR  for  sacred  prostitutes,  cf.  Ddc. 
pi.  XXXVI  No.  3  —  40  UR  DAM  NINA;  cf.  OLZ  XII  no. 

7  RA  XII  (I)  35  1.  17;  Tam.  &  Ish.  p.  78. 

8  Frank:  Studien  p.  80,  n.  235;  but  cf.  RA  XII  (I)  41,  n.  i. 

9  fcraig  RT  I  (2)  55  1.  9;   Martin:  Textes  Religieux  p.  196.   Cf.  also  BA  V 
626,  10. 

-    73    — 

eunuchs  with  axes".  The  ik-mu-u  zik-tu  si-mat  ilu('ti-sa),^ 
"pointed  weapon  insignia  of  her  deity"  has  reference  to  Ishtar. 
Langdon*  considers  that  Ishtar  with  the  pointed  sword  may 
be  a  symbol  of  Tammuz,  and  suggests  that  "these  mutilated 
priests  who  assisted  in  the  wailings  for  Tammuz,  and  who  bear 
the  symbol  of  their  mad  sacrifice,  may  have  been  under  the 
protection  of  the  dying  god  who,  therefore,  bears  the  same 
symbol".  In  Reisner,  Hymnen,  No.  56 3  we  find  a  line  in  which 
Ishtar  speaks  of  herself  as :  bur  s(a-si-i)n-nu  pat-ri  zik-te  (  )sa 
ina  su-nu  sak-nu  (ana-ku-ma) ,  "a  stone  of  the  stone  worker,  a 
pointed  dagger  which  is  set  in  the  loins  am  I".'* 

In  the  Descent  of  Ishtar,  (Rev.  I.  12)  an  individual  called 
Asusunamir  is  created  by  Ea  and  designated  as  an  assinuJ» 
In  the  copy  of  this  text  from  A§§ur,  the  word  ku-lu-*  is  sub- 
stituted.^ It  has  been  established  that  Asusunamir  was  a 
eunuch,  representing  Tammuz,7  but  whether  Tammuz,  like  Attis, 
was  a  castrate  god,  is  uncertain.  Albright  finds  the  clue  to 
the  interpretation  in  the  name  Asusunamir,  "His  rising  is 
brilliant",  as  showing  his  connection  with  the  rising  moon.  The 
connection  between  the  moon  and  the  eunuch  priest  in  mytho- 
logy is  clearly  established  by  Albright.  The  kurgarru  were 
prominent  in  the  New  Year's  festival,  and  evidently  took  part 
as  players  of  some  musical  instrument.^  If  the  eclipse  of  the 
moon  occurred  in  Adar,  the  king  might  touch  the  head  of  an 
assinu  as  a  means  of  giving   him  power  to  conquer  his  foes.9 

I  Craig  RT  II  55  1.  2.  2  Tam.  &  Ish.  p.  79. 

3  Obv.  56;  cf.  Hussey  AJSL  XXIII  146. 

4  Langdon:  RA  XII  (i),  41  n.  1.  states  that  female  kurgarreti  are  mentioned 
in  Virolleaud,  Adad  XII  12.  But  we  fail  to  find  anything  in  Virolleaud's  text 
to  show  that  female  eunuchs  were  intended.  The  zikari  kurgarri  is  better  inter- 
preted as  by  Frank,  ZA  XXIX  200  Z.  16. 

5  Interpreted:  "black"  (fr.  Heb.  ]B^«)  by  Talbot,  TSBA  II  201;  "einen  Buhl- 
knaben"  by  Gellen,  OLZ  XX  46;  "an  androgyn"  by  Pinches,  PSBA  XXXI  27; 
*«eunuch"  by  Figulla,  OLZ  XV  438. 

6  Cf.  AJSL  XXXIV  28.  In  Ebeling's  text  from  Assur  it  appears  with  harimtu 
(No.  43  obv.  3).    Frank,  ZA  XXIX  197  identifies  kabt  and  kurgarru. 

7  OLZ  XV  438;  JAOS  XXIX  86. 

8  Jensen  KB  VI  (2)  42  1.  10,  "Mannerliebling" ;  Zimmem,  Der  Alte  Orient, 
VII  (3)  9;  and  Berichte  uber  die  Verhandlungen  der  koniglich  sachsischen  Gesell- 
schaft  der  Wissenschaft,  LVIII  138,  "Kurgaru-priester". 

9  Cf.  CT.  IV  5,  lo. 

—    74    — 

That  the  kurgarru  and  assinu  were  titles  actually  applied  to 
functionaries  of  some  kind  and  not  merely  used  in  mythological 
or  religious  literature,  we  have  evidence  from  business  docu- 
ments in  which  they  appear  as  witnesses/ 

Eunuch  priests  are  by  no  means  rare  in  the  history  of 
ancient  religious  rites.  The  Ephesian  Artemis'  and  Syrian 
Astarte^  were  attended  by  eunuchs  and  virgins.  The  most 
noteworthy  instance  of  such  rites  is  in  connection  with  the 
worship  of  the  Phrygian  Cybele  and  Attis.  Cybele  was  be- 
lieved to  be  a  virgin  mother*  worshiped  by  eunuch  priests 
and  virgins;  Attis  was  represented  as  a  castrate  god.  In  the 
Spring  there  occured  a  festival,  the  third  day  of  which  was 
known  as  the  Day  of  Blood,  when  the  chief  of  the  priests  drew 
blood  from  his  arms  and  presented  it  as  an  offering.  Eraser 
conjectures  that  it  was  doubtless  on  this  day  that,  wrought  up 
to  a  high  pitch  of  religious  frenzy,  the  novices  sacrificed  their 
virility,  and  threw  the  severed  portions  against  the  image  of 
the  goddess.  Similar  was  the  practice  at  Hieropolis  in  the 
worship  of  the  Syrian  Astarte:  while  the  flutes  played  and 
the  drums  beat,  many  who  had  come  to  the  festival  only  as 
spectators,  urged  by  the  excitement  of  the  moment,  seized  a 
sword  and  castrated  themselves.  The  severed  parts  were  later 
buried,  and  the  men  assumed  the  attire  of  women.s  This 
custom  may  have  been  an  ecstatic  craving  to  assimilate  one's 
self  to  the  deity,  and  to  charge  himself  with  her  power,  the 
priest  assumed  female  dress  to  further  complete  the  trans- 
formation.^ That  a  goddess  of  fertility  should  be  served  by 
eunuch  priests  seems  inconsistent,  and  yet  it  is  typical  in  the 
worship  of  the  Mother  Goddess.  The  priests  of  Attis  would 
probably  not  have  continued  to  mutilate  themselves  merely 
because  of  the  tradition  that  Attis  castrated  himself,  unless 
there  was  to  their  minds  some  recurring  need  for  it.  Eraser 
finds  the  explanation  of  this  mutilation  and  burial  of  the  severed 

1  ADD  III  268,  II  129. 

2  Strabo  XIV  23;  cf.  Fraser,  Golden  Bough  I  37f. 

3  Lucian:  15,  27,  50  f. 

4  Fraser,  Adonis,  Attis^  Osiris ^  2nd  ed.  p.  236,  n.  I. 

5  Fraser,  Golden  Bough  Vol.  V  268—270.  Cf.  Lucian  50,  51.  Cf.  also  Albright, 
JBL  XXXVII  116. 

6  Hastings  Ency.  Rel.  and  Eth.  V  580. 

-    75    - 

parts  in  the  opinion,  held  among  many  peoples  that  the 
creation  of  the  world  is  year  by  year  repeated.^  Athenaeus^ 
reported  that  female  eunuchs,  instead  of  male  were  used  in  the 
palaces  of  Lydia. 

We  have  little  knowledge  of  eunuch  priests  outside  of  Asia 
Minor.  Among  the  Ba-sundi  and  Ba-bwende  of  the  Congo 
many  youths  are  castrasted  "in  order  to  more  fittingly  offer 
themselves  to  the  phallic  worship".^  A  number  of  other  illu- 
strations are  collected  by  Fraser.'^  The  practice  of  spaying 
women  has  been  noted  among  Australian  tribes,5  the  purpose 
being  to  further  prostitution.^  Female  eunuchs  have  been 
reported  in  India  also.7 

It  will  be  observed  that  there  is  a  strong  analogy  between 
the  above  described  rites  performed  by  eunuch  priests,  and 
the  passages  which  have  to  do  with  the  worship  of  Ishtar  and 
Tammuz;  that  these  men  represented  Tammuz  as  eunuch 
priests  represented  Attis,  seems  therefore  probable. 

Greek  and  Latin  words  for  eunuch  express  etymologically 
their  function,  or  refer  to  their  castration:  viz.  ro/xtas,  from  rcfivta, 
to  cut;  OXiPtas,  from  ^AtySw,  to  crush;  castro,  to  cut,  from  Sans- 
krit sastra,  knife;  but  ewo^xos,  from  euvi},  bed  +  -ox-  ablaut, 
stem  of  €X€tv,  to  keep.  Now  KUR  may  mean  ekallu,  palace 
or  temple;^  GAR,  "guard"; 9  and  RA  may  be  taken  as  the 
phonetic  complement.  KUR-GAR-RA,  then,  describes  their 
function.  If  in  the  expressie)n  GIR-SIG-GA  we  translate  GIR 
as  "foot",  giving  it  the  interpretation  suggested  by  Barton  and 
others, '°  SIG  as  "crush","  and  GA  as  the  phonetic  complement, 
the  expression  describes  their  castration.  The  GIR-SIG-GA 
mentioned  by  the  Code  %  1^7  is  one  who  is  a  muzaaz  ekallim, 

I  Adonis^  Attis,  Osiris  2nd  ed.  p.  237.  2  Bk.  XII  II. 

3  Journal  of  the  Anthropological  Institute  XIII  473. 

4  Golden  Bough  V  270,  n.  2. 

5  Purcell,  Verhandlungen  der  Berliner  Gesellschaft  fur  Anthropologic ^  Ethno- 
logie  und  Urgeschichte,  1 893,  p.  288. 

6  Milucho-Maclay  (Z.  E.  XIV  26  f.) 

7  Archiv  fUr  Anatomie,  Physiologie  und  wissenschafiliche  Medizin,  1 843,  p.  I59f. 

8  OBW  322.  9  OBW  53228. 

10  P.  70  n.  12.  Cf.Deut.  23 1  for  practice  among  the  Hebrews.  Cf.  also  description 
of  method  as  given  by  Paul  of  Aegina,  7  th  century,  quoted  by  Haupt,  JBL 
XXXV  321.  "  OBW  1759. 

-    76    - 

usually  translated  "guard  of  the  palace".  Ekallim  may  quite 
as  well  mean  "temple".  The  Old  Testament  word  for  eunuch, 
D'lID  (cf.  Arab.  ^^  from  J^^,  be  impotent;  and  Syr.  Uoa\jf) 
is  according  to  Haupt^  connected  with  serasu,  "beer",  which 
originally  meant  **mash",  and  is  used  not  only  to  indicate  a  civil 
officer  of  the  king,^  but  a  guardian  of  the  royal  harem.3  It  is 
also  significant  that  these  D'^ID  are  described  as  *'i^"^l^?  DW^Dr!,^ 
Ij^isn  "those  who  serve  in  the  presence  of  the  king",  or  D^^JW 
'^teiT'';!^  ^NhD,  ''those  who  see  the  king*  s  face".5  These  phrases 
form  an  interesting  analogy  to  the  manzaz  pant  sarri  of  the 
Babylonian  texts. 

Were  it  not  for  the  coupling  of  the  GIR-SIG-GA  in  the 
same  laws  with  the  zinnisti  zikru,  we  might  conclude  that  the 
GIR-SIG-GA  of  the  Code  was  a  eunuch  who  filled  various 
offices  for  the  king.  But  since  the  zinnisti  zikrii  come  under 
the  same  inheritance  laws  as  the  NIN  AN,  they  must  have 
been  a  class  of  female  votaries.  The  probability  is,  therefore, 
that  the  GIR-SIG-GA  of  the  Code  were  eunuch  priests  and 
the  zinnisti  zikru,  eunuch  priestesses.^  An  examination  of 
§§  187,  192,  193  shows  nothing  to  prove  that  the  children  of 
these  persons  were  not  children  whom  they  had  adopted.  Not 
only  do  these  laws  occur  in  a  group  of  adoption  laws,  but 
§  193  certainly  indicates  that  the  adopted  child  upon  finding 
out  the  real  status  of  his  adoptive  father  or  mother,  was  likely 
to  show  hatred  toward  them.  This  accounts  for  the  provision 
for  the  NIN  AN  and  zinnistu  zikru  under  the  same  inheritance 
laws,  and  for  the  fact  that  they  received  more  than  the  kadistu, 
zermasitu,  or  SAL  ME  Marduk.  For  the  NIN  AN,  as  we 
have  seen,  was  a  virgin,  and  the  zinnistu  zikru  because  of  her 
status   presumably   did  not  marry;  it  was  necessary  for  their 

1  Johns  Hopkins  University  Circulars,  No.  287,  p.  32. 

2  II  K  229,    II  Chron.  188.  II  K  23  11 messengers.    II  K  8  6,  932. 

24  12  general  officers.    II  K  25  19,  Jer.  52  25,  Gen.  37  36,  40  2,7  military  officers, 
Dan.  47 soothsayers.     Dan.  i  3,7—11,  18 prince  of  eunuchs. 

3  Jer.  38  7;  29  2;  Esther  2  3,  14,  15,  21;  i  10,  12,  15;  79;  4  4.  5;  6  2,  14; 
II  K  20  18;  2415;  Is.  39  7;  Jer.  29  2.  See  also  general  refs.  I  Chron.  28  i; 
I  Sam.  8  15;  Is.  564.  5;  Jer.  41  16;  3419. 

4  Esther  1 10. 

5  II  K  25x9;  cf.  Jer.  5225. 

6  Cf.  Landsberger.  ZA  XXX  73;  and  ZDMG  LXIX  521. 

—    77    — 

fathers  to  provide  for  their  support.  Upon  the  death  of  an 
ordinary  wife  who  had  borne  children  her  dowry  went  to  her 
children,  §  162;  but  if  she  were  childless,  her  dowry  belonged 
to  the  house  of  her  father.  Likewise  the  dowry  of  the  NIN 
AN  and  zmnistu  zikru^  reverted  to  her  brothers,  §  178,  180,  181, 
unless  her  father  had  given  her  legal  right  to  will  to  whom 
she  please,  §  179.  In  no  case  do  these  latter  inheritance  laws 
suggest  that  there  were  children.  In  a  letter  of  the  Hammu- 
rapi  period,^  the  writer  states  that  having  no  father's  house,  he 
entered  into  the  house  of  a  SAL  zikru  as  an  adopted  child. 
In  commenting  on  this  text,  Landsberger  concludes  that  the 
sal  si-ik-ru-tim  are  indentical  with  the  zikreti  of  the  royal 
inscriptions,  zi-ik-ru-um  being,  according  to  his  terminology,  a 
"Pseudoideogramm"  for  zikreti.  The  mention  of  these  persons 
taken  as  war  booty,  along  with  the  other  palace  women,  leads 
Landsberger  to  conclude  that  they  were  palace  eunuchs.  One 
questions  whether  female  eunuchs  would  be  maintained  in  the 
palace,  unless  perhaps  in  connection  with  the  Ishtar  cult  in 
private  worship.^  It  is  probable  that  these  men  and  women 
adopted  young  children  of  both  sexes  in  order  to  perpetuate 
the  order,  train  them  in  the  cult,  and  possibly  act  as  their 
attendants  while  they  served  as  novices.  Since  zi-ik-ru-um  may 
be  connected  with  the  root  zikaru^  "male";  the  title  zinnistu 
zikru  might  therefore  have  reference  to  the  secondary  physio- 
logical manifestations  which  are  developments  attendant  upon 
such  an  operation.  ^ 

This  opinion  that  the  GIR-SIG-GA  of  the  Code  were  eunuch 
priests  does  not  preclude  the  position  that  the  manzaz  panim 
of  the  business  documents  were  civil  officials  and  officers  of 
the  king.  It  shows  that  the  manzaz  panim  were  probably 
male  eunuchs,  and  that  the  same  term  was  applied  to  the 
sacred  as  well  as  the  civil  officer.  This  interpretation  is 
strengthened  by  the  analogy  to  the  Hebrew  use  of  0^*10, 
already  indicated. 

1  Ungnad:  Bab.  Briefe  No.  164  1.  9.    CT  29,  7  a. 

2  Luckenbill   considers  them  palace  women,  but  does  not  suggest  that  they 
were  eunuchs.    AJSL  XXXIV  9. 

3  The  representation  of  "bearded  godesses"  is  of  interest  in  this  connection, 
though  see  Jastrow,  "Bearded  Venus",   Revue  Arch^ologique.  191 1  (Pt.  I)  271. 

-    78    - 

The  presence  of  eunuchs  in  Babylonian  society  was  early 
recognized.  Layard,  in  his  Nineveh  and  Its  Remaiyis,"-  identifies 
eunuchs  with  the  Hebrew  DID,  and  finds  them  represented  on 
the  palace  sculptures.*  While  it  is  now  evident  that  they  played 
an  important  part  in  the  Ishtar  cult,  it  is  no  doubt  true,  as 
Johns  remarks,  that  many  obscure  terms  applied  to  priests 
have  been  translated  eunuch  for  want  of  more  accurate  know- 
ledge.3  Likewise  it  seems  improbable  that  there  existed  so  many 
classes  of  eunuch  priestesses  as  Landsberger  would  claim.^  The 
SAL  ME  who  are  so  frequently  mentioned  in  business  docu- 
ments must  have  been  a  large  class.  Is  it  possible  that  a 
Semitic  people  would  permit  so  large  a  part  of  the  female 
population  to  be  of  this  type? 

While  at  the  present  state  of  our  knowledge,  abundance  of 
data  is  lacking  by  which  to  establish  unquestionably  many 
problems  involved  in  the  interpretation  of  the  status  of  the 
votary  in  Babylonian  and  Assyrian  society,  the  foregoing  dis- 
cussion tends  to  establish  a  real  distinction  between  the  classes 
of  votaries  mentioned  in  the  Code.  The  NIN  AN  was  a  virgin 
high  priestess,  who  presided  in  the  ziggurat  chamber  as  wife  of 
the  god  and  lived  in  the  temple  precincts.  The  zinnistu  zikru 
and  the  GIR-SIG-GA  were  temple  eunuchs  dedicated  to  the 
worship  of  Ishtar  and  Tammuz.  The  zermasitam  and  kadistam 
were  temple  prostitutes,  who  could  marry,  who  often  took 
children  to  nurse  or  adopt,  and  who  held  a  recognized  position 
in  Babylonian  society.  The  SAL  ME  were  a  large  class  of 
women,  dedicated  to  a  specific  god,  who  did  not  live  in  a 
house  connected  with  the  temple,  and  who  enjoyed  great 
freedom  in  business  life.  Although  Babylonian  moral  ideals 
and  practices,  as  expressed  by  religious  rites  do  not  measure 
up  to  the  social  standards  which  the  laws  of  the  Sumerian  and 
Hammurapi  periods  laid  down  in  their  regulation  of  the  relation 
between  the  sexes,  remembering  the  fundamental  conceptions 
which  lay  behind  those  rites,  we  cannot  judge,  so  long  as  they 
really   believed   such   rites   to  be  an  expression  of  the  will  of 

1  2nd  ed.  IE  323. 

2  Monuments  of  Nineveh  PI.  93,  "Head  of  Eunuch"  pi.  54,  58,  59,  63,  68, 
71,  77.,  cf.  BN  I  pi.  10  (cf.  V  Text  81),  II  pi.  105,  140,  III  pi.  40,66,  cf. 
DeQerq  II  pi.  13,  14,  200.  3  ADD  III  264.  -♦  ZA  III  67. 

—    79    — 

the  gods,  that  the  peoples  of  ancient  Mesopotamia  were  there- 
fore grossly  immoral. 

Slavery  as  a  legitimate  social  institution  existed  in  Meso- 
potamia from  the  earliest  times.  But  the  position  of  the  servile 
classes  did  not  involve  the  unjust  or  cruel  practices  which  are 
commonly  recognized  as  the  fate  of  this  stratum  of  society. 
The  servile  class  was  perpetuated  by  birth,  capture,  purchase, 
or  disinheritance;  a  member  of  the  slave  class  might  therefore 
be  one  who  had  held  a  high  social  position  in  Babylonia,  or 
in  a  foreign  country.  The  relative  number  of  slaves  in  com- 
parison with  the  entire  population  has  been  a  subject  of  con- 
siderable speculation  and  dispute,  but  is  for  our  purposes  not 
of  real  import,  though  as  Luckenbill  has  pointed  out,''  the  fact 
that  relatively  few  slave  documents  have  been  found  does  not 
argue  that  the  slave  class  was  therefore  small. 

In  the  early  period  we  find  the  Sumerian  Family  Laws  containing 
one  article  relative  to  slaves.    To  quote  the  Semitic  text: 

Summa  If 

a-wi-lmn  a  man 

ar-da  i-gu-ur-ma  a  slave  attack  and 

im-tu-ut  ih'ta-tas  kill  him,  injure  him  (and) 

i'ta-ba-ta  he  perish, 

i-ta-pa-ar-ka  cease  to  be, 

u  im-ta-ra-su  or  is  sick, 

i-di-su  sa  u-ma-kal  his  pay,  daily 

^2  ta-a-an  se-am  */,  se 

i-ma-an-ta-ad  he  (shall)  measure. 

It  is  to  be  noted  that  the  only  example  of  a  law  concerning 
slaves  that  has  come  down  to  us  from  the  Sumerians  legis- 
lates for  their  protection;  even  at  this  early  period  some 
restraint  was  put  upon  the  slave  owner. 

The  Hammurapi  Code  has  thirty-five  laws  relating  to  the 
warad  and  the  amtu.*  These  laws  were  intended  to  prevent 
a  slave  from  running  away  and  to  aid  the  owner  of  a  runa- 
way to  recover  his  lost  property.3    They  rendered  illegal  the 

1  AJSL  XXIII  285. 

2  SS  7,  IS— 20,  116,  118,  119,  129,  144—147,  170,  171,  175,  176,  176 A, 
205,  213,  214,  217,  219,  220,  223,  226,  227,  231,  252,  278—281. 

3  SS  15—20.  Cf.  PSBA  34  p.  112  King  Ham.  Letters  III  p.  134. 

—     8o    ■— 

branding  of  a  slave  without  the  consent  of  the  owner. ^  If  a 
slave  repudiated  his  master,  his  ear  must  be  cut  off.'  The 
female  slave  or  amtu  was  introduced  into  the  family  for  the 
purpose  of  securing  offspring; 3  if  she  bore  children  she  could 
not  be  sold;+  and  if  the  father  of  these  children  so  chose,  he 
could  make  them  his  legal  sons,  sharing  equally  with  the 
children  of  the  regular  wife.s  A  possible  influence  of  the  early 
matriarchate  may  be  seen  in  the  laws  providing  that  the 
children  of  a  free  woman,  even  if  she  marry  a  slave,  are  classed 
as  freemen.^  A  slave  owner  was  protected  against  purchasing 
a  defective  slave.7  A  slave  who  had  been  captured,  sold  as  a 
slave  in  a  foreign  country,  and  subsequently  brought  back  to 
his  native  country  was,  even  though  recognized  by  his  original 
owner,  to  be  given  freedom.^  In  a  number  of  sections  of  the 
Code  the  slave  appears  as  the  object  of  less  compensation  or 
penalty  in  the  case  of  injury  received  or  committed,  than  is 
assigned  to  men  of  higher  rank.  If  a  man  attacked  an  amtu 
and  caused  her  injury,  his  penalty  was  slight.^  The  penalty 
of  a  slave  for  assaulting  a  man's  son  was  more  serious  than 
if  the  assault  had  been  made  by  a  patrician.^°  Likewise  if 
injury  were  caused  a  slave  because  of  a  falling  house  or  a 
goring  ox,  the  builder  of  the  house,  or  owner  of  the  ox  was 
required  to  pay  far  less  than  if  the  injured  had  been  a  patri- 
cian," and  it  was  the  owner  of  the  slave  who  received  the 
compensation,  rather  than  relatives  of  the  deceased.  A  physi- 
cian ran  less  risk  in  practicing  on  a  slave  than  on  a  freeman, 
for  if  he  failed  in  his  treatment,  the  fine  was  slight."  A  slave 
could  be  given  as  payment  for  debt'^  and  in  time  if  not  redeem- 
ed the  creditor  who  had  received  him  had  a  right  to  dispose 
of  him.^* 

That  the   buying   and   selling  of  slaves  offered  a  profitable 
business   in   Babylonia  and  Assyria   is  testified  to  by  the  in- 

I  §s  226,  227.  2  s  282.  3  SS  144—145- 

4  §§  146,  119.  5  §§  170,  171.  Cf.  RA  VIII  25. 

^  §S  ^7S»  176.  — Cf.  variant  to  §  175,  BE  (A)  XXXI  p.  50.  —  Cf.  also  RA 

vin  7. 

7  S§  278,  279.  —  Cf.  variant  PSBA  XXIV  p.  305  &  Vol.  XXIX  p.  161. 

8  S  280.  9  SS  213,  214.  »«  S  205. 
"  SS  231,  252.                 "  SS  217,  219,  220,  223. 
13  s  116.                14  S  118. 

—    8i    — 

numerable  "Slave-Sale"  documents,'  and  evidence  of  the  existence 
of  slave  dealers.*  As  a  piece  of  personal  property,  a  slave 
could  be  given  in  payment  for  debt,  could  be  willed  along 
with  the  rest  of  one's  property,^  or  could  be  rented,^  or  ex- 
changed.s  But  the  warad  and  amtu  were  not  the  only  servile 
class.  What  the  social  status  of  many  of  the  classes  of  workers 
mentioned  in  letters  and  contracts  was,  we  are  as  yet  at  a 
loss  adequately  to  explain.  It  is  probable  that  there  existed 
a  class  of  serfs;  Johns,  in  his  Babylonian  &  Assyrian  LawSy 
Contracts  and  Letters  asserts  that  in  Assyria  there  was  a  large 
body  of  serfs,  glebae  adscripti,  who  were  free  to  work  as  they 
chose,  but  were  sold  with  the  land.  Since  in  a  legal  document 
it  was  not  customary  to  mention  the  name  of  a  slave's  father, 
while  a  serf's  father  is  always  named,  Johns  concludes  that  this 
holding  was  hereditary.^  He  states  further  that  these  serfs 
probably  paid  rent,  that  they  were  often  high-grade  artisans, 
and  were  on  the  metayer  system,  claiming  implements,  stock 
and  supplies  from  their  masters.  The  Harran  census  shows 
that  they  often  had  land  of  their  own.'"  From  these  men  were 
drawn  the  kings'  men  who  served  for  a  period  in  the  army 
or  on  public  works.  In  Deeds  and  Documents  Johns  recognizes 
three  subject  classes;^  domestic  slaves,  married  slaves,  and  serfs, 
and  states  that  war  captives  were  probably  settled  as  serfs 
rather  than  as  slaves.  Also  according  to  Deeds  and  Documents,"* 
in  Assyria  a  slave  could  hold  slaves,  but  probably  could  not 
sell  them,  since  if  he  were  himself  sold,  his  slaves  went 
with  him. 

Johns  does  not  tell  us  what  the  Babylonian  word  for  his 
serfs  is.  His  evidence  for  the  existence  of  this  class  seems  to 
be  based  largely  on  his  interpretation  of  the  Harran  census. 
In  this  inscription  he  finds,  for  example,  that  a  man  classified 

1  Cf.  Catalogue  of  British  Museum,  Kuyunjik  Col.  Vol.  V,  p.  1999. 

2  Cf.  AJSL  XXXIV  199;  and  Grant,  Babylonian  Business  Documents  0/ Classical 
Period^  Phil.  1919. 

3  ABR  III  40;  BE  (A)  VI  (l)  No.  28. 

4  ABR  III  No.  37,  58;  HLC  I  No.  340. 

5  Schorr  116.  6  Johns  Bab.  dr^  Ass.  173. 
7  Op.  cit.  202.                  8  ADD  III  S  630. 

9  III  S  636. 


—      82      — 

as  a  cultivator  of  a  vineyard,  sometimes  had  land  as  his  own, 
ranianisiiy  showing  that  the  land  he  cultivated  was  not  neces- 
sarily his  property.  This  leads  Johns  to  doubt  whether  these 
people  were  small  farmers  in  a  modern  sense.  He  thinks  they 
were  probably  serfs  and  glebae  adscripti.'^  But  from  this  it  is 
not  improbable  that  the  cultivator  of  vineyards  was  a  free  man, 
owning  property  of  his  own,  but  as  a  business  proposition 
cultivating  also  the  land  of  another,  on  contract. 

While  it  is  quite  probable  that  a  class  of  persons,  particu- 
larly those  devoted  to  agriculture,  may  have  been  attached  to 
the  land  and  sold  with  it,  our  evidence  is  not  clear  enough  to 
establish  it.  It  might  have  happened  that  men  of  the  warad 
class  were  sometimes  sold  with  the  land  when  an  owner  was 
disposing  of  a  large  part  of  his  property. 

The  mtcskenu  of  the  Code  were  probably  free  men,  and  not 
slaves  with  special  freedom,  hi  his  Schweich  Lectures  for  191 2, 
Johns  devotes  considerable  space  to  the  meaning  of  muskenu^ 
giving  the  history  of  attempts  at  the  interpretation  of  this 
word,^  concluding  that  his  translation  "plebeian"  is  correct,  and 
that  by  the  time  of  the  Kassite  period  they  were  degraded, 
whether  to  serfdom  he  does  not  say.  But  the  Code  appears 
to  rank  the  muskenu  as  inferior  to  the  amelu  and  superior  to 
the  warad]  and  he  could  hold  slaves,  warad^  §§  15,  175, 
176,  219. 

The  lowest  class  of  society  was  the  sabe^  or  men  from  whom 
laborers  for  the  public  works  or  material  for  the  army  were 
recruited.  This  class  was  largely  composed  of  outcasts,  war 
captives,  or  worthless  slaves  ;3  they  were  clothed  and  fed  at 
royal  expense  and  were  essentially  the  property  of  the  state. 
In  the  letters  of  Hammurapi,  men  of  this  class  are  frequently 
mentioned  as  laboring  on  canals,^  and  public  works  of  various 
kinds.5  Consignments  of  provisions  were  made  to  them.^  They 
were   usually   presided   over   by  the  UKU-U§  (ridu  sa  sabe)J 

1  "An  Assyrian  Doomsday  Book  or  Liber  Censualis",  Johns,  Leipzig,  190 1, 
p.  21. 

2  Schweich  Lectures  1912,  p.  8,  74,  and  AJSL  XIX  97.    Cf.  also  Harper 
AJSL  XXII  6  &  7.  3  AJSL  XIX  171;  ADD  II  S  228  f. 

4  King  Ham.  Letters  III  p.  14.  5  Op.  cit.  p.  82,  85,  %6. 

6  Op.  cit^.  p.  58,  YBT  Vol.  II,  No.  8.  7  Br  6960. 

-     83     - 

This  office  was  evidently  undesirable;  a  patesi  was  made  a 
ridu  as  punishment,^  a  baker  was  temporarily  assigned  to  the 
riduti,  and  was  later  discharged,^  a  freeman  who  had  been 
sold  into  slavery  in  a  foreign  country,  upon  coming  back  to 
Babylonia  was  told  he  was  released  from  the  warad  class, 
and  might  go  with  the  riduti,  a  privilege  which  he  refused.^ 
Overseers  of  public  slaves  may  be  seen  at  work  on  the  sculp- 
tures of  Nineveh 4  and  elsewhere,  with  stick  in  hand,  driving 
laborers  who  are  carrying  bricks,  putting  in  place  a  lamassUy 
or  transporting  stone.  The  laborers  are  often  yoked  together; 
and  the  task- master  may  be  seen  with  stick  raised  in  the  air; 
ready  to  descend  upon  the  inefficient  workman.5 

To  the  female  slave,  the  terms  amtu  (=  gem  Br.  11135) 
and  ardata  (=  ki-el  Br.  9831)  are  applied.  Whether  there  is 
any  real  distinction  is  not  clear.^  The  female  slave  was 
domestic  servant  and  in  certain  cases  recognized  concubine.7 
She  could  be  bought,  sold,  rented,  or  given  away.^  She  could 
also  be  dedicated  to  the  temple  service.9  Slaves  could  gain 
independence  by  manumission,  sometimes  a  whole  family  being 
freed  at  once;*°  or,  since  a  slave  was  able  to  hold  property,  it 
was  possible  for  them  to  purchase  freedom  from  their  masters.'^ 

A  practice  connected  with  slavery  which  was  existent  in  the 
Sumerian  time,  and  which,  when  illegally  practiced,  was  a 
punishable  offense,  was  that  of  "branding"  or  marking  slaves. 
What  this  practice  actually  was,  is  involved  in  considerable 
obscurity,  and  its  interpretation  depends  upon  the  meaning 
assigned  to  galabu-1^^  abuttu\^'^  and  muttaiu,^^  as  they  appear  in 
Law  I  and  II  of  the  Sumerian  Family  Laws,  and  Code  §§  127, 

I  King  Ham.  Letters  III  106.  2  Op.  cit.  Ill  104. 

3  CT  vf  29. 

4  Layard:  Monuments  of  Nineveh  II,  pi.  10 — 17  passim;  BN  passim. 

5  Op.  cit.  II,  pi.  II,  13  etc.    Cf.  King  Ham.  Letters  III,  p.  84. 

6  But  Langdon  believes  (Babylonica  II  149,  note  4)  that  ardatu  means  mar- 
riageable girl  who  is  free  born.  7  See  previous  discussion  p.  58,  59. 

8  J.  P.  Morgan  II,  p.  34. 

9  J.  P.  Morgan  II,  p.  33;  OLZ  XII,  p.  no;  RA  XV,  p.  61  (male  slave). 
1"  AJSL  XXIII  291.  II  MAP  p.  7,  Note  3. 

1^  galabu  Heb.  nVa,  Arab,  '.-a^j*.,  "to  scrape,  cut,  shave". 
»3  HWB  13**;    MA  12^  gives  meaning  "fetter".    Haupt  (Sum.  Fam.  Ges.  35) 
identifies  with  nnbP,  "service",  and  Zimmem  (BB  59)  with  132^,  "to  bind". 
»4  Usually  translated  "forehead".     Haupt  believes  it  is  related  to  IKiA  "hair". 


-     84     - 

146,  22''^,  227.  The  Sumerian  Family  Laws  give  as  punishment 
for  disloyalty  to  father,  DUBBIN^  MI-NMN-SA-A,  Akkadian 
ti-gal'la-ab-stt\  for  disloyalty  to  mother,  MUTTATI-A-NI 
DUBBIN  §A-NE-IN-SI-ES,  Akkadian  mu-ut-ta-as-su  u-gal-bu- 
ma.  S§  226,  227  of  the  Code  contain  the  phonetic  SU-I  which 
has  been  read  galabii.*  These  laws  provide  that  if  a  §U-I, 
without  the  consent  of  the  owner  of  a  slave,  ab-bu-ti  warad  la 
se-e-im  u-gal-li-ib,  his  hand  shall  be  cut  off;  and  that  if  anyone 
deceive  a  SU-I  and  induce  him  to  thus  treat  a  slave,  such  a 
man  shall  be  put  to  death,  and  the  SU-I  upon  swearing  he 
did  not  mark  the  slave  knowingly,  shall  go  free.  §  127 
provides  that  if  a  votary  is  falsely  accused  by  a  man,  that 
man  shall  be  brought  before  the  judges  and  mu-ut-ta-zu  ii-gal- 
la-bu.  An  amtu  who  had  borne  children,  if  she  tried  to  take 
rank  with  her  mistress,  gave  her  mistress  the  right  to  ab-bu- 
ut-tam  i'Sa-ak-ka-an-si-ma  and  count  her  among  the  maid 

There  seems  to  be  no  reason  for  doubting  that  galabu  meant 
"cutting"  or  "scraping"  of  some  kind.  §§  226,  227  indicate  that 
it  was  done  by  a  special  person  who  made  it  his  business, 
and  that  the  operation  was  important.  If  all  slaves  were  ga- 
labuy  it  is  not  clear  why  anyone  should  have  wanted  to  subject 
a  slave  to  this  operation  again.  It  is  therefore  reasonable  to 
suppose  that  the  law  refers  to  some  mark  of  mutilation  which 
would  render  the  slave  of  no  commercial  value.  And  since  a 
Babylonian  slave  might,  if  he  had  sufficient  funds,  buy  his  way 
out  of  slavery,  one  questions  whether  this  so-called  "slave-mark", 
if  applied  to  all  slaves,  was  of  a  permanent  nature.  The 
shaving  of  the  head  or  beard,  the  wearing  of  a  fetter,  would 
not  be  serious  enough  to  account  for  §§  226,  227.  If  the  mark 
were  ordinarily  visible,  it  is  strange  that  we  find  no  attempts 
to  represent  it  in  sculpture. 

A  document  from  the  time  of  Ammiditana3  cites  the  case 
of  a  freeman  who  was  bought  as  a  slave  in  a  foreign  land 
and  later  returned  to  Babylon,  his  native  city.  After  five  years 
he  was  summoned  and  told  el-li-ta  ab-bu-ut-ta-ka  gu-id-hi-ba-at, 

I  OBW  104,  "a  sharp-pointed  instrument",  "nail-mark". 
*  M  5143,  Br.  7148. 
3  CT  VI  29;  Schorr  37. 

-    85    - 

and  that  he  could  enter  the  riduti.  But  he  refused  and  said 
he  would  claim  his  father's  estate.  If  we  translate  ellita 
"clearly"*  a  partial  solution  is  offered.  This  man  bears  a 
slave-mark  that  is  visible;  §  280  provides  that  a  war  ad  bought 
in  a  foreign  land,  if  returned  to  his  native  city,  must  be  releas- 
ed; as  a  former  freeman  he  claims  a  right  to  his  father's 
estate;  he  is  told  he  must  go  with  the  riduti^  or  overseers  of 
the  sabe.  This  would  seem  to  indicate  that  because  of  his 
mark,  he  was  to  be  classed  with  the  sabe\  that  is,  he  had  been 
a  freeman  in  Babylon,  had  gone  to  a  foreign  country  and 
become  a  warad,  but  bore  mark  of  slavery.  Returning  to 
Babylon,  as  a  warad  who  had  been  free-born  he  wished  to 
claim  share  in  his  father's  estate,  but  as  he  had  a  slave  mark, 
he  was  assigned  to  the  riduti.  It  would  therefore  appear  that 
only  the  sabe  had  a  "slave-mark". 

This  theory  accounts  for  the  occurrence  of  the  custom  in 
the  Sumerian  Family  Laws ;  it  accounts  for  the  severity  of  the 
punishment  inflicted  on  one  who  marked  a  slave  without  the 
owner's  permission,  —  such  a  mark  would  render  him  unsal- 
able by  a  private  individual,  for  if  he  had  the  mark  of  a  sabe 
he  became  a  public  slave;  and  it  explains  §  146,  for  women 
were  also  of  the  sabe  class.  Of  the  nature  of  this  mark  we 
have  no  evidence,  but  the  fact  that  a  special  class  was  required 
to  bear  the  marks  of  its  social  status,  keeping  it  continually  in 
subjection,  and  paralyzing  ambition  is  of  importance  for  the 
study  of  interclass  morality. 

From  the  late  Babylonian  period*  we  have  a  law  providing 
that  if  a  man  sold  a  female  slave,  and  the  purchaser  later 
found  some  fault  with  her,  the  seller  must  buy  back  not  only 
the  woman,  but  all  the  children  she  may  have  borne.  The 
law  is  comparable  with  Code  §  278  which,  however,  makes  a 
limit  of  a  month  in  which  the  purchaser  may  try  out  the 
slave.  The  late  Babylonian  law  seems  fairer  to  the  seller  than 
to  the  purchaser,  but  it  also  shows  the  tendency  to  prevent 
separation  of  children  of  slaves  from  their  parents. 

1  Cf.  KU  740;   Johns  Bab.  &  Ass.  176.     On   analogy   with   use   of  ellu  in 
adoption  ceremony  documents. 

2  Sitziingsberichte  der  Koniglich  Preussischen  Akadtmie  der  Wissenschaftenl2>%()y 
pt.  2 — p.  824. 

—     86     — 

The  Babylonian  laws  regarding  slaves  tend  to  treat  them  as 
personal  property  rather  than  as  human  individuals.  While  it 
is  undoubtedly  true,  as  has  been  so  often  maintained,  that 
Babylonian  slaves  enjoyed  on  the  whole  greater  freedom  than 
is  usually  associated  with  people  of  that  rank,  the  warad  at 
least  was  favored  in  that  he  could  buy  his  freedom,  was  not 
sold  away  from  his  family,  could  hold  property,  and  could 
marry  a  free  woman  thereby  securing  a  status  of  freedom  for 
his  children.  It  must  however  be  remembered  that  most  of 
our  evidence  is  written  from  the  patrician  point  of  view.      -^ 

It  is  obvious  that  the  spirit  of  the  Code  reflects  a  de^4€€ 
to  protect  the  various  elements  of  society  of  which  advantage 
might  be  taken.  In  the  epilogue,  Hammurapi  claims  that  he 
was  called  by  Anu  and  Bel  to  prevent  the  strong  from  oppres- 
sing the  weak  —  to  further  the  welfare  of  the  people  and  to 
secure  justice  for  the  poor  and  the  widow.  Such  expressions 
are  found  at  an  earlier  period,  as  for  example  the  statem'^nt 
of  Gudea  that  at  Lagash  during  the  feast  after  the  conse- 
cration of  E-ninnu,  "the  maid  was  equal  to  her  mistress;  master 
and  slaves  consorted  together;  the  powerful  and  the  humble 
man  lay  down  side  by  side;  the  rich  did  not  wrong  the  orphan, 
the  strong  man  did  not  oppress  the  widow  and  Babbar  trod 
injustice  underfoot."^  So  Sennacherib  says  he  is  „guardian  of 
justice  and  lover  of  righteousness";^  and  Sargon  II,  in  the 
midst  of  gruesome  details  of  campaigns,  says  he  ^'protected 
the  weak  and  injured  from  their  wrongs."  ^  Such  random  quo- 
tations are  of  value  only  as  they  are  indicative  of  a  certain 
mental  attitude  in  the  recognition  of  ideals  of  justice  on  the 
part  of  important  kings.  Taken  by  themselves  they  need  not 
be  considered  to  indicate  anything  more  regarding  moral  prac- 
tices than  is  proved  by  the  policy  or  "platform"  of  anyone  in 
public  office. 

It  is  notable  that  in  all  the  material  from  legal  codes  which 
are  available  to  us,  there  is  no  mention  of,  or  provision  for, 
the  mentally  subnormal,  the  blind,  and  persons  suffering  from 
other   disorders   which   would  make  them  dependents,   and  of 

1  Cf.  SAK  138  f. 

2  I  R  37  Col.  I,  1.  4. 

3  I  R  36,4.    Cf.  KB  II,  p.  41.    Cf.  also  BE  X  (2)  p.  147,  1.  22  f. 

-    87    - 

no  value  as  slaves.  There  is  indeed  little  material  to  show  us 
what  the  attitude  toward  such  members  of  society  was.  This 
is  of  course  due  to  the  fact  that  disease  and  similar  misfor- 
tunes were  looked  upon  as  punishment  inflicted  by  the  gods, 
or  evidence  of  the  activity  of  evil  spirits,  a  circumstance  making, 
the  afflicted  person  dangerous  to  the  community. 

It  was  doubtless  because  of  an  instinct  to  protect  the  weak 
as   well  as  the  importance  that  the  Semitic  mind  attached  to 
offspring,   that   legislation   was    made  to  protect   the  pregnant 
woman.    Among  Urukagina's  reforms^  appears  the  expression, 
ama-gi-bi  A  pregnant  mother 

e-gar  he  protected, 

nu-sig  nu-ma-zu.  the  orphan,  the  widow, 

lu  a-tug  the  mighty  man 

nu-na-ga-ga-a  he  does  not  oppress. 

The  translation  of  ama-gi-bi  as  ''pregnant  mother"  is  problem- 
atical,' but  whether  the  expression  may  be  thus  translated 
or  not,  we  at  least  are  certain  that  we  have  here  a  statement 
of  an  attempt  to  protect  the  oppressed.  The  Sumerian  legal 
fragment  of  the  Yale  Collection  furnishes  us  with  certain  evi- 
dence that  the  pregnant  woman  was  protected  against  assault.^ 
The  first  of  these  two  laws  assumes  that  the  offense  was 
unintentional,  and  the  penalty  is  ten  shekels;  the  second 
assumes  an  intentional  act  and  the  penalty  is  ^3  mana  of  silver. 
These  may  be  compared  with  §§  209 — 214  of  the  Code.  Here 
we  find  a  distinction  of  penalty  according  to  the  rank  of  the 
woman.  If  she  be  the  daughter  of  an  awilum,  the  offender 
must  pay  ten  shekels;  if  the  woman  die,  the  daughter  of  the 
offender  must  be  put  to  death.  If  the  woman  be  the  daughter 
of  a  maskinu,  the  offender  must  pay  five  shekels,  §211;  and 
if  the  woman  die,  one-half  mana  is  the  penalty.  Again,  if  the 
woman  be  the  slave  of  an  awilum,  the  penalty  is  given  as  two 
shekels;  if  the  woman  die,  one- third  mana  of  silver  was 
required.  The  Sumerian  code  makes  no  class  distinction,  but 
requires  no  added  penalty  if  the  assaulted  woman  die.  Code 
S  209  may  have   been    derived   from  the   first  of  these  two 

1  Cone  B  &  C.    D6c.  pi.  LII  Col.  XI,  1.  28  f. 

2  GI— cf.  OBW  2835.12  Possibly  an  analogy  with  French  enceinte. 

3  YBT  Vol.  I,  p.  20,  Laws  I  &  2.    Cf.  also  OLZ  XVII  1—3. 

—    88     — 

Sumerian  laws;  according  to  Jastrow's  analysis  §§  209,  210 
are  among  the  earlier  elements  of  the  Code,  the  others  relating 
to  this  matter  being  a  later  development. 

Eleven  laws  of  the  Code,  §§  215 — 225  relate  to  the  practice 
of  surgery;  laws  intended  to  standardize  fees  and  establish 
severe  penalties  not  only  if  the  patient  died,  but  even  if  the 
treatment  were  unsuccessful,  doubtless  arose  primarily  from 
moral  indignation  at  maltreatment,  but  secondarily  in  an  attempt 
to  protect  the  helpless  from  carelessness  and  overcharge. 

§  148  is  intended  to  protect  a  wife  who  is  afflicted  with 
disease;  while  it  allowed  the  man  to  take  a  concubine,  it  pro- 
vided that  the  husband  maintain  the  first  wife  in  his  own  house 
as  long  as  she  lived. 

Concerning  the  treatment  of  foreigners  in  residence  we  have 
very  little  material.  §  40  of  the  Code  shows  that  in  Babylonia 
an  alien  could  hold  property,  and  from  the  business  documents 
of  the  later  Babylonian  time  we  are  assured  that  they  entered 
freely  into  the  business  competition  of  the  community. 

In  the  evidence  of  a  development  of  a  strong  class  distinc- 
tion we  may  trace  a  moral  retrogression  among  these  peoples. 
In  the  Sumerian  law  fragments  there  are  no  special  fines  or 
regulations  for  certain  classes  of  society.  The  reforms  of 
Urukagina  are  directed  against  just  that  sentiment,  but  the 
Hammurapi  Code  contains  many  laws  which  make  for  in- 
equality between  the  social  groups.  While  Jastrow  believes  that 
the  laws  which  are  based  on  the  lex  talionis  principle  are 
among  the  earliest  of  the  laws  compiled  under  Hammurapi, 
he  also  believes  that  those  dealing  with  class  distinction  are 
late,  especially  those  relating  to  the  muskinu.  Law  required  an 
amelu  to  pay  a  larger  fine  for  theft,  §  8,  a  larger  fee  for  divorc- 
ing his  wife,  §  140,  a  larger  fee  for  surgical  service  §g  215—223. 
But  in  the  laws  regarding  assault,  injury  to  a  man  of  amelu 
rank  is  punished  by  similar  treatment  inflicted  on  the  offender, 
while  attack  upon  the  muskinu  and  warad  was  compensated 
by  money  payment,  §§  195 — 214.  Such  laws  are  strong  evi- 
dence of  a  class  distinction  which  existed  not  merely  because 
of  social  practice,  but  which  also  had  legal  sanction. 
\|  From  this  analysis  of  certain  sociological  features  of  the 
'■  Sumerians  and  Babylonians,  we  find  that  even  at  the  present 
\  time,  when  our  knowledge  of  these  peoples  presents  so  many 

-    89    - 

unsettled  problems,   we  have  been   able  to  trace  in  some  in- 
stances moral  evolution.    Since  laws  which  are  based  on  customs 
express   the  moral  ideals  existent  at  the  time  they  are  estab- 
lished  and  are  often  more  conservative  than  actual  practices, 
we  are  fortunate  in  having  as  a  basis  for  study  not  only  laws, 
but  contracts  and  letters,  each  of  which  may  serve  as  a  check 
on  the  others.    Nevertheless  we  have  found  in  our  study -no 
persistent  instances  of  contracts  showing  legal  decisions  made 
in  direct  opposition  to  the  legal  codes.    Our  knowledge  of  this 
society,  based    almost  entirely   on  the  written   records  it  has 
left  us,  begins  with  a  time  when  society  was  no  longer  a  tribal 
or    clan   organization,   but    presents   the   picture   of  city-state 
communities.    These   communities    showed   their   solidarity   in 
their  conflict  with  one  another.   Life  within  the  community  was 
regulated   by   laws   based   upon   moral  concepts  of  right  and 
wrong;  the  breaking  of  these  laws  met  with  severe  punishment. 
Westermarck   maintains^  that  "punishment,  in  all  its  forms,  is 
essentially   an   expression   of  indignation  in  the  society  which 
inflicts  it",   the  immediate  aim  being  to  cause  suffering.    The 
indignation,   followed   by   the  desire  for  revenge  is  shown  not 
only   in   the  Sumerian  Family  Laws,   but  more   specifically  in 
the   laws   of  the   Code  which,   on   the  lex  talionis  principle, 
represent    an    attempt    at    requiring    quantitative   equivalence, 
as   for   example   the  laws  relating   to  the  infliction  of  bodily 
injury.    But   in   the   same   Code,   along   with   the  lex  talionis 
idea   are   found  laws  which  require   that   in    certain  instances 
the   intent   of  the   offender  must  be  considered,   as  in  §  206. 
Property  right  was  strongly  maintained,  as  the  early  struggles 
over  boundary  stones,  the  severe  penalties  against  stealing,  the 
laws  of  inheritance,  transfer  of  property,  and  indeed  the  many 
laws  dealing  with  all  kinds  of  business  transactions  show.    That 
a  people   who   maintained   so  high  a  moral  standard  in  their 
business  relations,   who  had  severe   laws  against  adultery  and 
incest,  and  who  granted  women  great  social  freedom,   should 
have  so  thoroughly  woven  into  their  social  fabric  such  gross 
practices  as  those  connected  with  the  Ishtar  cult,*  is,  from  an 

1  Westermarck :  The  Origin  and  Development  of  the  Moral  Ideals,  London 
1908,  I,  l69ff. 

2  Cf.  Westermarck  II,  445. 

—     go     — 

ethical  point  of  view,  of  primary  interest  in  the  study  of  an- 
cient civilizations.  The  widespread  practice  of  prostitution  in 
Babylonia  is  to  be  explained  only  as  a  survival  sanctioned  by 
religion,  the  result  of  the  worship  of  fertility  among  the  primi- 
tive Semites  of  the  desert.  The  moral  ideals  of  Babylonians 
as  we  learn  of  them  from  their  customs,  their  laws,  and  their 
gods,  show  that  they  evolved  an  ethical  code,  which,  though 
it  apparently  displays  great  inconsistencies,  nevertheless  presents 
us  with  a  picture  of  a  people  who  attempted  to  establish 
justice  and  moral  righteousness. 


I,  Beatrice  Allard/)  the  daughter  of  Frank  Ellsworth  Allard 
M.  D.  and  Ada  (Booth)  Allard,  was  born  in  Boston,  Massachu- 
setts, December  lO,  1893.  I  was  prepared  in  the  public  schools 
of  Boston,  being  graduated  from  the  Prince  Elementary  School 
in  1907,  and  the  Girls'  Latin  School  in  191 1.  In  1915  I  received 
the  degree  of  Bachelor  of  Arts  from  Mount  Holyoke  College. 
From  1915 — 1919  I  studied  in  Bryn  Mawr  College;  as  Scholar 
191 5 — 1 91 6,  191 8 — 1 919,  and  Fellow  in  Semitic  Languages 
1916 — 1918.  In  1918— 1919  I  held  the  Mary  E.  Woolley  Fel- 
lowship of  Mount  Holyoke  College.  The  year  191 9 — 1920 
was  spent  in  research  at  Harvard  University,  while  holding  the 
Alice  Freeman  Palmer  Fellowship  of  Wellesley  College.  My 
interest  in  the  Semitic  field  was  stimulated  by  Professor  MARY 
INDA  HUSSEY,  of  Mount  Holyoke  College,  to  whom  I  would 
express  my  appreciation  of  her  continued  interest. 

To  Professor  GEORGE  A.  BARTON,  who  has  awakened 
my  interest  in  Assyriology,  and  under  whose  direction  all  my 
graduate  work  has  been  done,  it  gives  me  great  pleasure  to 
express  my  sincere  gratitude  for  his  unfailing  helpfulness  and 
sympathetic  interest. 

♦)  Married  in  August  1920  to  Mr.  Edwin  M.  Brooks. 

Printed  by  W.  Drugulin,  Leipzig 


This  book  is  DUE  on  the  last  date  stamped  below. 

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rdue.   ■,    ""'-■':■  v>^]l 
overdue               • 
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OCT     14  1947 


AUG  2    1949 

.       i9Mar52»*t 


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km  MS 

71  -IPW 
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